The Rev. James Brigman decided in July that he would walk from Rockingham to Washington, D.C., to call attention to the needs of medically fragile children like his daughter, Lauren Faith. He made no real plans, except to walk, setting out from Harrington Square on a Friday morning, July 7.
The resulting 400-mile journey — mostly along the weedy berms of U.S. 1 — drew national attention even before Brigman, 52, made it to Washington.
His family’s Facebook page, “A Voice for Lauren Faith Brigman and All Medically Fragile Children/Adults” relayed Brigman’s progress via Google Maps, as well as pictures and posts from scores of well-wishers, including those who had intercepted and walked with him.
“It was an honor to spend an hour with you to hear your story and feel your passion. Walk on!” one post said.
When he arrived in the nation’s capital, Brigman attended an interfaith rally and prayer service at the Jefferson Memorial, then walked to Congress alongside his wife and daughter, who had driven up the day before. All three met with an array of prominent senators and representatives, and spoke of their desires before reporters for national networks and publications.
Pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Brigman said God had called him to walk. His wife, Lori, said that had to be true — “otherwise, he couldn’t have made it” through the summer heat.
“They truly want to sit down and work with us,” Brigman said of public officials, as well as himself and others concerned about preserving a Medicaid program that protects people like Lauren Faith.
“I really think it’s a success,” he said of the trip. “God stepped in and moved, and showed all that he can do.”
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.