Man walking around Big Island to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy foundation

Man walking around Big Island to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy foundation

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - "Right now it's blazing hot. I have no muscles in my legs and I'm hurting". Darryl "Sammy" Sampaga was having a rough Monday. Seven days into his trek around the Big Island, and Sampaga was feeling the effects of the long walk.

And he has Muscular Dystrophy.

"Some days I cannot walk at all. Some days it just hurts, a steady cramp, I'm tired sometimes" he said by phone.

Sampaga is in the midst of walking the perimeter of the island. The reason he is doing so is to benefit his foundation OSMD Hawaii. Operation Sammy Muscular Dystrophy is a nonprofit foundation that allows disabled children the opportunity to ride in canoes out on the ocean.

"I'm borrowing canoes and I want to get our own canoes. So that's my goal to get money to get two Hawaiian canoes and take these kids out. Block out muscle disease and pursue happiness" he said between breaths as he continued walking, some 40 miles south of Kona.

So far the trip has been difficult, and funds have been slow to come in. However, Sampaga remains undaunted.

"I've walked maybe half the island almost, and only raised $300. Sometimes it's not about the money, it's about the kids".

Muscular Dystrophy, a group of diseases that attacks muscles making mobility difficult, is hereditary. Sammy's mother is stricken. So is he, and his daughter.

While the going has been rough, he's had plenty of support on the roads.

"Every day I have supporters. Every day people walk with me, sometimes people I don't know. Every day I have water, every day I have food".

He has no timetable on when he'll finish. He knows where. It will be at the King Kamehameha statue in Hilo.

If you would like to donate to his foundation, you can send checks to:

OSMD Hawaii
P.O. Box 6232
Hilo, HI 96720

The foundation can be reached on phone at (808) 339-1791.

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