Our very own Forrest Gump has crossed the Nullarbor, and he couldn’t be more proud.
Dane Waites – who has classic autism, is living proof of what people with autism can achieve – said it makes him happy that people are comparing him to the fictional character Forrest Gump.
Now he is more than a quarter of the way through his Perth to Pambula journey and has just completed a major milestone.
“I am very happy and feeling very proud that I have made it across the Nullarbor,” Dane told the News Weekly on Tuesday, July 18.
“It took me a long time but it was a great achievement. When the whole crew was at the end of the Nullarbor, they clapped and cheered when I came into Caiguna.”
Dane packed seven pairs of sneakers and countless pairs of socks to ensure his feet and legs could survive running a marathon a day.
But when asked whether he was in any sort of pain after having ran more than 1000km, Dane said nothing was bothering him because he was having too much fun.
“Fun and enjoyment is the important thing and I am having a lot of fun.”
The 43-year-old is making the journey with a very enthusiastic support crew which consists of well-known Merimbula locals Lynne and Rex Koerbin and of course, his biggest supporter his mum Junee.
Ms Waites has been with Dane every step of the way on this journey and on Monday Dane was very proud to be able to celebrate his mother’s birthday by her side after another long run.
“She is very proud of me, my mum,” Dane said.
Dane and his support crew have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people they meet on the road, with many people making donations large and small for autism and mental health research.
Anyone wanting to follow Dane's journey could follow him on the Perth2Pambula Facebook page and website. The website also includes details on how to donate to the causes he's fundraising for - autism and beyondblue.
Dig deep and help Dane reach his fundraising target of $500,000.