Richmond native Jim Thacker wants to help children in Lafayette County breathe easier. So he’s going on a 90-mile walk.
The Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County is sponsoring Thacker, a certified respiratory therapist at Lafayette Regional Health Center in Lexington, and the area’s only certified asthma educator. He serves as a resource for physicians and nurse practitioners in the area in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Jim runs an asthma clinic at LRHC every other Tuesday afternoon.
Thacker said while talking with educators and nurses throughout the county he discovered a need for breathing equipment in schools. Thacker said many schools have little or no equipment.
Currently, school nurses in Lafayette County report a total of 589 asthmatic kids, 249 of which lack the equipment at school.
Thacker will begin his 90-mile walk on Friday and will continue through Sunday.
He said others have volunteered to walk with him but he said he turned them down for safety reasons.
“I am going to be walking along major highways so I think one person might be a good enough target,” he said. “I wouldn’t want anybody to get hurt.
“I’ve had several people tell me they are going to meet me along the path and cheer me on,” he added.
Thacker said he is looking for corporate sponsors but has had little luck so far.
“Right now we’re pretty much relying on individuals, and hopefully some civic groups will jump on board when they realize it’s for the kids,” he said.
This year will be the first time Thacker has done a walk like this. He said one other county has contacted him about doing another walk. He said he is up for any idea that will help children.
“The school systems have a lot of things they wish they had to take a lot better care of the kids, and I’m certainly game for anything I can do to help them,” he said. “My biggest problem is getting the word out. Hopefully, some people will be encouraged to donate to the coalition for it.”
For more information to donate or help contact Thacker at 816-405-4055 or Toniann Richard at 660-259-9019.
Photo: The son of former Richmond Fire Chief J. W. Thacker, Jim will spend this weekend walking along roadways in Lafayette County in hopes of raising money to help children with asthma. (Submitted Photo)