WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 27, 2013, 08:59 AM

Best Stories of 2013: Teens take on cancer

Oakes, ND (WDAY TV) - This week we're taking a look back at some of our best stories in 2013.

Oakes, ND (WDAY TV) - This week we're taking a look back at some of our best stories in 2013.

This story comes out of Oakes, North Dakota, where this summer, teens went the distance to fight cancer.

The group, "The Wanderers," hit the highway with a goal of walking 72 miles.

Aaron Gabriel- The Wanderers: "It hasn't really hit me yet."

It can take a while to get where you're going.

Gabriel: "It's kind of surreal.

For these teens, it will take tens of miles and more.

Gabriel: “Tired."

Daniel Courtney- The Wanderers: "Almost a way for me to kind of give back and try and help."

20 minutes; a mile, and they're making good time.

Gabriel:"Three miles per hour on a good day."

Their legs have already blazed through 54 miles from Aberdeen to Guelph, North Dakota. A car can travel that in a little over an hour. For them, four days.

The Wanderers: "I'd say about ten miles left."

And their motivation is moving…

Preston Andersen- The Wanderers: "My brother-in-law’s older brother died of cancer."

Allen Paul- The Wanderers: "With all the people that have cancer out there, I mean, this seems like the least we could do for them."

Tristan Meier- The Wanderers: "For cancer and for all the cancer victims that survived it."

Courtney: "There's a lot of aches and pains, but at the end, it's all worth it."

With each passing car comes a friendly wave…

Andersen: "We've counted: 93 trucks have honked their horn."

And a push from complete strangers…

Ann Wampler- Driver: "When you're feeling that what you're doing is the right thing to do, then to go for it."

The long road home isn't always easy.

Gabriel: "It keeps us going, knowing that we're doing it for such a good cause."

The harder thing yet is knowing the destination isn't a cure; just a closer step in the right direction.

The teens made their goal and more, gaining national attention for their efforts.