Matt Livermanne. Photo by Pat Dollins
An Unlikely Athlete On An Uncommon Journey
Matt Livermanne lost his job in 2009 and went in and out of meaningful employment until at his wits end and with $7.75 in his pocket, he decided to take a walk.
More than 15,000 miles later and reaching every corner of the country, he had broken the World Record for most distance traveled in the shortest amount of time. He met 7,200 people and inspired over 800,000 followers all because he left behind the car, bus and train, and put on a pair of hiking shoes. He’s the real life Forrest Gump, with a heartbreaking twist. Matt The Walker, this unlikely athlete and hero, is fighting for his life.
Whoever Said The World Was Flat?
Just a year ago, Matt was walking nearly 60 miles a day. Today, he is gaunt and frail. While sleeping under a tree in the Pacific
Northwest in 2013, Matt unexpectedly inhaled a deadly fungus spore. He hopes to be among those to conquer this tragic fungus born disease “Cryptococcus Gatti” that already has taken the lives of nearly 20% of those infected; even though his condition has diminished quickly. Matt has partnered with Salt Lake-based director Danny Drysdale and the production team of Eight Little Crickets to capture the heart of his story before he is overcome by the disease.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
You can help bring Matt’s story to life by supporting this film project, Within Walking Distance. If everyone Matt met on his journey and whom he inspired just gives a few bucks, we’ll reach our goal.
Share This Story
Matt The Walker is the common man, an unlikely athlete on an uncommon journey. He is determined to make an indelible mark on the great world he has explored on foot and seen with his own eyes.
Matt, to me, is a symbol of the common man doing uncommon things. I find his story of unemployment and his consequent response to walk the United States as a startling but timely reaction to the diminishing faith the public has in the systems developed in the 1900s that have affected our economy and consiousness. The most alarming part of the tale is his unfortunate run in with a deadly fungus of some foreign origin that is rare enough to disbelieve but is fatal enough to interrupt and threaten to end his journey in life. At the core of these efforts is a man who had 7 bucks and adventure in hi back pocket; his attitude in the midst of such strife is as consistent as the the will that kept his feet moving through sandstorms, tornadoes, staggering temperatures mile after mile across the US.
As Matt said, “As long as people can learn something about this disease, I will feel like I have a purpose in all of this struggle…” I want the film we create to echo this purpose, inspiring others to embrace their understanding of their surroundings and move themselves into action, to create meaning in their own lives. As many projects of this nature, there is much to explore, and we want to give Matt the lens for but a small moment; to share his experiences with the world.
From the opening monologue:
Richard Avedon: “Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is… the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own. “