George Throop, 34, is “Walking Across America” to raise awareness of how making steps towards leading healthier lives can help reduce the likeliness of contracting cancer and other fatal diseases. Throop, who was born and raised in Vancouver, shaved his head in solidarity with cancer patients and began his long trek in Washington State on Sept. 20, two days before his 34th birthday. His mother had died of bone cancer two days before her 34th birthday. He calls it a “pilgrimage of inspiration” and chronicles his motivation and adventures on his website “www.enjoythewalk.org”. He hopes to motivate others to live healthier lives and follow their dreams.
Throop is planning much of his accommodation along the journey through an international hospitality network called CouchSurfers whose stated mission is to create “Inspiring Experiences”. Daniel Hayes of Santa Monica hosted Throop on Friday night through the site. His current travel partner, Shay Emmons, (photo) from Portland, Oregon, is also a friend through the network. She plans to walk with Throop to Florida, and maybe even to DC. Throop’s official Santa Monica departure was from the pier. From Santa Monica, he’ll be turning east and walking toward Florida, then heading north en route to Washington DC.