(NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Two complete strangers paired up to literally walk the entire East Coast in hopes of sparking change and conversation surrounding the nation's opioid crisis.
Brett Bramble and John Azerolo left Key West Florida on January 27, 2018. They crossed into the Pine Tree State on Sunday, getting them one step closer to their final destination -- Fort Kent.
The idea came after Bramble lost his sister Brittany to a drug overdose in 2014. He created a non-profit called Freedom to Grow, which is focused on providing a healthy environment for people with troubled pasts. In 2016, Bramble walked from Lewes Delaware to San Francisco California.
"We want people to do something that will combat this problem, that will save lives," Bramble said. "We see the pain in this country, everyday we meet someone on the side of the road whose lost somebody."
Azerolo learned about the effort after Bramble walked through his hometown in Missouri. He quickly followed the traveler on social media and kept up to date on what Bramble was doing. When he saw that Bramble had planned to travel up the East Coast, Azerolo knew he wanted to join along.
"I don't know much about the opioid problem in America but the one thing I do know how to do is make people smile and laugh," Azerolo said. "So he said you're in."
Since starting the journey to Fort Kent, the pair has met hundreds of people. Many of them with their own stories of how their lives have been impacted by addiction.
"We'll hug them and cry right with them, hardly a day goes by that we don't." Azerolo said.
The group grew to three a few days ago, they picked up another walker while traveling through New England. They plan to be in Fort Kent by August 17, 2018.
To follow their journey, click here.