It is apropos that on this Valentine’s day I learned of one man’s amazing, inspiring story of lost love and walking.
As a doctor, parent, husband and avid walker, I hear a lot of amazing stories in my daily travels. I mentioned my terrific experience with the American Volkssport Association in another Flowalking post and only recently learned about an inspirational cross-country walk one AVA member is making.
Dave Brown, VP of the AVA’s Liberty Bell Wanderers (you guessed it – based in Philadelphia) was dealt a tragic blow in August 2011 when his wife of four decades succumbed to ovarian cancer. Brown’s grief overwhelmed him for some time, but like any AVA member, he decided there was something to do about it – go walking.
A Memorial Journey, from Sea to Shining Sea
Benefit walks are nothing out of the ordinary, but Dave is taking a journey of epic proportions to pay tribute to his wife and raise awareness for ovarian cancer – he’s walking from Atlantic City to San Francisco, a trek spanning eight months at a clip of 14 miles per day.
Dave’s had a lot on his mind the last few years and everyone is wishing him the best on his inspirational trip. You can imagine the complex logistics and planning involved, but the rewards are just as numerous. For one thing, Dave is answering a call his wife made before passing. Part blessing and part challenge, she told Dave to do as he saw fit in her memory when it came to getting the word out about ovarian cancer, the so-called “silent killer.”
Now Dave – going as big as any of our Founding Fathers – is making a journey from sea to shining sea.
Starting February 28th in A.C., he’ll stride up the Black Horse Pike, then on to the National Road (U.S. 40, originally proposed by George Washington) before hitting U.S. 50 and ending at the Golden Gate.
Walking for a Cause and a Way of Coping
Dave will be the first to tell you that he’s walking for himself as well as in honor of his late wife Joan. I’ve highlighted many of the reasons people go walking: as a spiritual pilgrimage, a way to live longer or even as a way to improve your sex life.
Frankly, maybe I’ve neglected one of the greatest reasons of all: to clear your head and sort out the problems (large and small) in your life. There is nothing quite like a long walk past beautiful scenery to put things in perspective.
Dave Brown is taking that concept to another level. I hope you check out his website (http://www.ocjoan.blogspot.com) to monitor his progress, go out and meet him along the way and, if possible, donate to the cure for ovarian cancer (you can find the info on his site). I also urge you to spread the word about Dave’s journey. Tell your friends, family, and anyone else who think might help him.
For me, learning about this bittersweet love story on Valentine’s Day, makes my time today with my family even more special. I am glad I heard about it, and glad I wrote about it.
Walk on, Dave. Safe travels.
R.I.P. Joan Brown.
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