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Recovering Opioid Addict Running Trail of Tears to Raise Awareness about Drug Abuse

TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. (WATE) - Keep a look out for runners, especially one, over the coming days. A North Carolina man is running cross country as a way to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic.

Kallup McCoy II was in Tellico Plains on Thursday before he started the next leg of his run along the Trail of Tears.

He averages about 28 to 29 miles a day running from Cherokee, North Carolina to Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

"I feel like from the beginning I'm supposed to be exactly where I'm at," he said.

It's taken a long time to get to where he is now. McCoy says he's in long term recovery for opioid abuse.

"I overdosed six times, three of those times I died. It led me to become a monster," he said.

This month he's celebrating 14 months sober and it's what inspired this journey.

"I think about where I came from, how many people still struggle, and I think about what God's trying to tell me," added McCoy.

He's running to tell everyone addiction is real and he's hoping to remove the stigma.

"Now it's not all about me. It's about turning around and helping those who still struggle," said McCoy.

McCoy is helping by raising money to build a recovery home in his community.

"Everybody locking arms and coming together, that's how we're going to make the biggest impact," he said.

There are many miles ahead and if you see him, McCoy hopes you see him for a father, son, and brother.

"I feel like I was chosen to do this. One of my favorite bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11. 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,'" said McCoy.

He hopes to be finished running by June 28 and his mom is following along on the run, but is driving. McCoy's mom is there to make sure he's staying hydrated, healthy and safe.

If you'd like to follow his journey from Cherokee, North Carolina to Tahlequah, Oklahoma you can visit his Facebook page by clicking here.

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