Portland man running across the country, likely to succumb to his injuries, family says

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 10:27 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A Portland man running across the country to bring awareness to those impacted by the pandemic, will succumb to his injuries after being hit by a truck along a road in Texas earlier this week.

Grady Lambert’s parents, Mark and Julie, said their son was running from Cannon Beach to Hilton Head, South Carolina a 4,000-mile journey all for a good cause.

“He had always talked about running across cross-country,” Julie said. “So I kind of knew it was going to happen at some point. And of course, once again, he didn’t run it by us. He just said this is what I’m doing.”

Julie and Mark were at Cannon Beach on March 16th of this year when he set off on his journey. A moment that took a lot of preparation before heading east from Oregon.

“We wanted to make sure that he was sufficiently prepared because it was an enormous undertaking,” Mark said.

Along the way, Grady documented his journey on Instagram. Making his way down to California, across Arizona and New Mexico, then into Texas. He raised thousands of dollars along the way for frontline workers and took pictures with nearly everyone he met.

“That was a hard day, watching your son leave on something that you knew was dangerous,” Julie said. “We recognized the danger of what he was doing.”

But Grady’s journey came to a tragic end in Amarillo, Texas on Sunday. A truck hit him while he was running along a road in the city, leaving him with life-threatening injuries that his parents say he will succumb to. Mark and Julie will donate their son’s organs so he can help more people after he’s gone.

Mark and Julie said they are also setting up a scholarship in his name for students graduating from Lincoln Academy Alternative High School in his hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma. The money will be awarded to a student who is going to pursue a career in nursing. A scholarship, Grady’s parents said, is aligned with his mission of the journey he couldn’t complete.

Though he couldn’t complete his run, Mark and Julie said they are going to do it for him. Before he left, Grady told his mother in the car that if anything bad happens to him, to finish his journey.

“He said, so I want you to take my ashes and spread them from where I stop to the end,” Julie said. “So Mark and I will have an epic road trip and spread Grady’s ashes along the way.”

Mark and Julie said they’ll remember their son the same way everyone else he met throughout his life. A warm, compassionate, young man who was always thinking about others.

If you would like to donate to Grady’s scholarship fund, click here.