As we’ve mentioned before (several times now), the world is full of people who commit a sizeable percentage of their waking life to achieving goals that would seem unusual or impossible to ordinary folk. Something we absolutely think should be applauded because in this, the darkest timeline, it’s nice to know there are people out there who’d spontaneously develop the ability to fly to headbutt a nuclear missile out of the sky if it prevented them from doing what they loved.
Join us as we chronicle the stories of 10 legendary people more dedicated to their goals than any Greek hero. Starting with…
10. John Burkhill – The Fuzzy-haired Avatar of Generosity
John Burkhill’s life story reads like the first draft of a superhero Marvel turned down the chance to make a comic about because it’d be too raw. After losing his wife to cancer in the ’90s, Burkhill made a solemn vow to himself that he’d spend the rest of his natural life raising money to eradicate the disease that killed her while looking fly as all hell. True to his word, since that fateful day Burkhill has spent virtually every waking moment walking around the city of Sheffield, England pushing a pram while wearing a giant fuzzy green wig – the purpose of which is to advertise the charity Macmillan Cancer Support (which has green livery), to whom Burkhill gives every penny he raises.
Now in his freaking 70s, Burkhill has made it known that he won’t stop walking until he’s raised at least a million pounds for Macmillan, a goal he hopes to accomplish by collecting donations and running in races with his trademark pram and wig. To date, Burkhill has raised several hundred thousand of pounds, been awarded a British Empire Medal, and carried the Olympic flame when it passed through his city in 2012. He’s also run in countless marathons, presumably so that one day he might have strong enough calf muscles to simply kick cancer to death.
9. Chen Zhitong – The Master of Claw Machines
Gifted with a steadier hand than a surgical robot playing Jenga, Chen Zhitong is a marked man in his native China thanks to his uncanny ability to dominate those silly claw machines you occasionally see in restaurants. Zhitong claims to be able to tell, on sight, whether or not it is possible to win a prize from a specific claw machine and he’s admitted that he’s been banned from a number of establishments due to his habit of clearing out individual machines of all of their prizes in a single gaming session.
Zhitong is so good that in an attempt to stop him from swaggering into their store with a pocket full of change and walking out with an armful of stuffed bears, owners of claw machines who know he’s in the area will simply attempt to buy him off to keep him at bay.
After winning 15,000 stuffed animals in a single year, Zhitong grew tired of having to bodycheck 50 Eeyores to use the bathroom and decided to donate the bulk of his collection to a children’s hospital. If you wondering if this story can get any more adorable, the hospital was specifically for blind and deaf children.