Here I posing with a friend in front of the Welcome to Michigan site in Ironwood (On the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula). Two months earlier, I had started walking from Toledo, OH. Over the course of two months, I walked 830 miles, along the side of road, all the way across both peninsulas of Michigan, on stilts. For perspective...It is 660 miles from Toledo to Atlanta, GA. I walked 830 miles....Michigan is a big state. It was a long walk!
So what was the purpose of this journey, other than for fun? Well, I was raising money for United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan. Friends and family sponsored my trip, complete strangers stopped and handed me donations, and schools raised money on my behalf in exchange for an inspirational and exciting assembly. With the help of a federal match, the trip raised $85,000 for UCP. Specifically, the money went to help people with disabilities afford assistive technology, which allows them to live more independently.
Each day I walked about 22 miles, usually taking me roughly 8 hours. All day long people would stop to offer me food, water, and donations. I was carrying my supplies, and my donations in a back pack. Everyday someone would volunteer to drive my pack ahead and drop it off for me. Several hours later when I arrived at my location, my pack was always there. At times I had up to a thousands dollars in my pack, not once was anything stolen. Complete strangers allowed me to stay at their homes in the evenings or purchased hotel rooms on my behalf. It was an incredible dsiplay of kindness and generosity. Imagine a world in which you can place complete trust in everyone you met. It was incredible.
As you may have heard, I walked 350 miles across Michigan on stilts again this spring, as I plan to do every year.
For more information about my 2013 walk click here.
For information about hiring me to tell my story click the pdf link below.