Eric on Oct 9: ‘Yesterday I passed through the stunning Rio Grande Canyon”

Put aside thoughts about any other Keeler you may have heard of.

Ours – that is to say, our fellow-Sunderland supporter Eric Keeler – has taken on a mighty but admirable challenge.

He is running coast-to-coast – not west Lancs to East or North Yorks but a more exacting slog across the United States and from corner to corner at that – to raise funds for Spinal Research.

My new pal at safc.com, Oscar Chamberlain, takes up the story about 30-year-old Eric’s initiative:

The colossal fundraising-effort is well underway, and he’s already clocked up an incredible 2,800 miles in just 142 days.

After starting on April 29 in Lubec, Maine on the Canadian border, Eric has been running past world-famous landmarks from Niagara Falls to the Great Lakes, as he travelled through Denver, Chicago and the Rockies en route to the Colorado-New Mexico border.

He hopes to complete his 4,000-mile journey in San Diego in early December, before returning to the North East to cheer on Jack Ross’s side with his father, Ken, who has followed the club for 49 years.

Eric, who covers around 50km every single day, attended his first match in February 1998 – a blizzard-stricken midweek fixture against Ipswich Town under the Wearside lights – and, like so many of us, he instantly fell in love with the Lads.

And he continues to keep up to date with the goals as they go in, following all the action on social media as he runs from state to state.

You can keep up with his astonishing efforts via his website, cornertocorner.run, and also support him in the best way possible by donating, no matter how small …You can also keep up with Eric via his twitter, @C2C_USA

Oscar invited people to share and we are delighted to oblige. This is his description of the charity:

Every year, 1,000 people in the UK and Ireland are paralysed following an injury to their spinal cord, but thanks to such innovative research, paralysis can now be treated.

The charity receives no government funding, and this can only be achieved by donations, so people like Eric are going a long way – quite literally – to changing lives.

To visit Salut! Sunderland’s home page, just click on Jake’s adaptation of Matt’s cartoon

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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