Dad walks 200 miles to raise funds for ailing son

Posted at 12:27 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 12:27:59-04

WISCONSIN DELLS, WI (WKOW/CNN) - A father is s determined to help his son, who's in the fight of his young life.

A dad is trying to raise more than $17,000 for his son's medical expenses, but a chunk of that cost was covered after a journey of 200 miles.

"I did it for my little buddy Caleb," Dennis Gawronski said. 

On a warm Mother's Day Sunday, a passing motorist wished Gawronski and his family well as he nears the end of his journey.

The man has been on the road for the last 10 days - from Aurora, IL, to the Wisconsin Dells, all on foot, for his son.

"I wanted to do something to attract attention to his need," Gawronski said.

The 6-year-old suffered brain damage after having a seizure when he was about a year and a half old.

"Caleb suffers from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. And he was a fine, bouncy happy young man until 19 months," he said.

Gawronski walked about 20 miles each day, pushing Caleb in his stroller, hoping to raise enough to pay for his son's medical needs.

"Twenty miles a day is tough. But to do it 10 days in a row is a test of will," Gawronski said.

He admitted some days were harder than others. But the thought of quitting never entered his mind.

"The third day was the toughest, just because I was sore from the first two days," he said.

Along the way, people showed their generosity.

"One guy took the change out of his cup holder and gave it to me because that's all he had," Gawronski said.

Family and friends greeted he as he arrived at the Kalahari resort Sunday.

"Your heart just pounds because you know what this family has been through," said June Loomis, Caleb's great-aunt.

Gawronski's feet have taken quite a beating over the last 10 days. But he says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's all worth it. It's all worth it for Caleb," Gawronski said.

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