CarolAnn Garratt and Carol Foy are attempting to fly around the world in a week. The pilots made a short stop in their “Dash for the Cure” to refuel at San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport on Wednesday.
Garratt and Foy have both lost loved ones to ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and planned their voyage in an attempt to raise money and awareness about the disease. The two women have raised $140,000 so far and hope to raise a total of $1 million to go toward ALS research.
“CarolAnn and I both have ALS in our families, and it’s just an awful, dreadful disease that we really want to see an end to,” said Foy, “It’s poorly funded, and we’re hoping to bring some attention to ALS.”
ALS causes a gradual degeneration of nerve cells in the central nervous system and usually results in death within 5 years, said Garratt. Over 300,000 people worldwide have the disease at any given time, and there is currently no known cause or cure.
“ALS is just a devastatingly terminal disease. When you’re diagnosed with it, you’re going to die,” said Garratt.
Along with spreading awareness and fundraising, the two women also aim to shatter the current world record for circumnavigating the globe. The current record, set in 1988 by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, averaged a speed of 56.8 mph. Garratt and Foy hope to average a speed of 120 mph in their single-engine piston airplane, the Mooney M20J. Their plan should allow them to complete their voyage in just 7 and ½ days and with only 9 ground stops for refueling. Times and speeds for circumnavigated flights include all airtime and ground stops from the initial moment of take off till the final landing.
San Diego’s Brown Field marked the location for Garratt and Foy’s first pit stop. According to the official Dash for the Cure website, Garratt and Foy’s flight took off from Orlando, Florida on Tuesday evening. Following their first landing in San Diego, the pilots will make short stops in Hawaii, Guam, Thailand, Oman, Djibouti, Mali, and the Cape Verde Islands before returning to Florida.
To see the path of the flight, make a donation, or to learn more about ALS, be sure to visit the Dash for the Cure website.