In May 2017 Nick Ashill started a run across the United States of America (from Los Angeles to New York, a distance of 5000km) with the objective of raising awareness of a lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). His mum died of the disease in 2015. IPF kills 6000 people every year in the UK and 17000 people in the United States. There is no cure.

After running 4000km, Nick was deliberately hit by a pickup truck in Ohio with life threatening injuries (see for this unbelievable story). Nearly 3 years on and 15 surgeries later he is now back running. He will start his run on 27 May 2020 from the exact spot he was hit in 2017. He has 1000km left.

Nick’s story is one of persistence, resilience, passion, and hard work. He has come a long way since learning to walk again.

SERVSIG invited him to give us an update on his fundraising campaign for a charity that supports individuals and families dealing with pulmonary fibrosis:

Dear family and friends and the wonderful people of Columbus, Ohio

Hello from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates! I am reaching out to you to ask for your help. Most of you know that I was involved in a hit and run accident on US Highway 40 near Columbus, Ohio on 2 August 2017. At the time I was attempting to complete a 5000km run across the United States of America. After running 4000km, I was deliberately hit by the driver of a pickup truck that did not stop.

Two and half years on and 15 surgeries later, I am now back on my feet and I will be returning to the United States in May this year to finish my run. I have approximately 1000km to run before I reach my final destination, New York. I plan to start my run on 27 May 2020 from at the exact spot I was hit in 2017. The surgeons who put me back together and other USA runners will be joining me for a few km along the way!!

Although my body is very different today, I am determined to finish what I started in 2017 and raise further awareness of a disease of the lungs known as Pulmonary Fibrosis. Pride, heart, stubbornness and resilience continue to drive me and will get me to the finish line!

So how can you help me? I have set up a GofundMe campaign to raise funds to cover the rental and running costs associated with an RV for myself and support crew for a period of 3 weeks. An RV company in Ohio has kindly agreed to donate half of this cost but I still need to raise funds to cover the balance.

I would be go grateful if you make a donation to keep my dream to run across America alive. The link is:

Over the forthcoming weeks I will updating the website and social media sites. You will be able to following my run using these links (see below). Thank you for your support!

With gratitude.


Nick Ashill
Professor of Marketing
American University of Sharjah (AUS)
Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington