Daily Republic
February 4, 2015
By Kevin W. Green
FAIRFIELD — Noah Coughlan has been on a crusade to raise awareness and support for rare diseases. The Vacaville native has taken that crusade across the country twice, running from coast to coast.

Now, he plans to run across America one final time.

The 31-year-old is scheduled to begin his journey, known as Run for Rare, Feb. 28 at the Statue of Liberty and conclude the 3,100-mile run July 4 in San Diego. The run is to raise awareness and support for the 30 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide affected by a rare disease.

Coughlan was in Fairfield on Tuesday to receive a resolution from the Solano County Board of Supervisors, honoring him for his achievements. He told the board he anticipates becoming the first American to run across the country three times. He says he will be representing Vacaville, Solano County and California on the trek, which he says will be his last coast-to-coast run.

An official kickoff will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at Theatre DeVille at 308 Main St. in Vacaville. The event, which is open to the public, will feature local officials and representatives. It will include an update on the Run for Rare feature film documentary, which is slated to be out in 2016.

More information about the upcoming run is available on the website run4rare.org.

Coughlan’s first run across American came in 2011 after Catie and Annie Allio – the daughters of incoming Fairfield Police Chief Joe Allio, who was a youth pastor to Coughlin when he was a teenager – were diagnosed with Batten disease. It’s a rare degenerative brain disease that only affects four out of every 100,000 children in the United States annually.

That first run was known as Run for Research. Coughlan made a second run in 2013, which was known as Run Coast 2 Coast.

He talked about that trek with county supervisors on Tuesday, saying he “got to witness the kindness of the American people.”

Coughlan was able to connect with families affected by Batten disease who lived near his route and did more than 100 media interviews to cast a light on the struggles of those families. He plans a similar approach on this third trek, meeting with families and organizations affected by rare diseases and trying to capture the attention of the media.

Reach Kevin W. Green at 427-6974 or kgreen@dailyrepublic.net.

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