PHOENIX — Daisy Purdy is roller skating from the Navajo Nation to the Eastern Band of Cherokee reservation near North Carolina to raise awareness and funds for Navajo communities affected by environmental pollution and the spread of COVID-19.
Purdy says she’s taking on this challenge to support Dr. Tommy Rock and his team of inter-tribal and inter-generational Native researchers and storytellers.
“A lot of folks are hurting, a lot of folks are grieving and I thought roller-skating - cause that makes people happy,” said Purdy.
Daisy is roller skating down the road at 12 miles an hour for more than 2,000 miles!
The journey has had its challenges, like finding water and electricity. But then there was one that was unexpected.
“The police. I didn’t anticipate when I was doing the logistics for the trip that I would be pulled over 16 times in 30 days. I think a lot of officers are just really confused at what’s going on,” said Purdy.
This mission called for a support vehicle driven by a friend, but it later ended up being a solo mission.
“I had a support driver for a little bit, she went home, so I’m on my own now,” said Purdy.
And it's a daily routine that lets her keep rolling.
“So, I generally sleep in the front seat of the car wake up, eat hard-boiled eggs or dry cereal. There’s definitely a five to 10-minute routine of taping the feet where I unbandage the previous blisters, said Purdy.
Even with unexpected obstacles and injuries, she should arrive at her destination by the middle of the week.
“I have about 277 miles remaining of the 2,000 miles. So, I’ve made it quite a way so far," said Purdy.
So, what keeps those wheels turning?
“It’s more exhausting than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I tell myself almost every day that I’m guided by my ancestors and supported by the community, that’s what keeps me going,” said Purdy.
Not only did Daisy set a 2,000-mile goal which she plans to exceed, but she is hoping to raise $100,000 in funds for Rollin Rock Research.
If you would like to support Daisy click on the GoFundMe link.
Photo and video provided by Alejandro Higuera (Yaqui).