Healthy Living

Retired Trooper with Parkinson's Goes Above and Beyond to Raise Awareness

His walk also had a few highs

Things weren’t always terrible. In Arizona, a state trooper pulled to the side of the road to give Dellinger a beverage to drink. When heavy wind gusts made walking and camping in Texas impossible, local emergency workers opened the EMS headquarters for a night. There were others along the way who believed in his trek and offered their homes to give him a rest.

His 26-year old son joined him at one point to walk and talk, and Officer Michael Dellinger, his younger brother, walked with Tommy for three weeks from Scottsdale to Albuquerque. This portion of the walk had the added joy of bringing the two law enforcement officers together.

Still, Tommy Dellinger had to walk most of the journey by himself. He spent Thanksgiving in an Arkansas Cracker Barrel, but he was able to chat with his family via smartphone.

Shelly Dellinger, his wife, said, it was very difficult for all of them. But, his FaceTime talks with family inspired him and kept him going. One FaceTime discussion with his granddaughter even gave him the motivation to keep going.