Preparations begin in Winterhaven, CA Jan 22, 2020

Dear All,
I walked from Yuma, AZ to Winterhaven, CA I will be making the same walk in reverse on Friday morning when I begin the Steps To-Marrow walk across the Sonoran Desert.

I stopped by the Yuma City Hall and arranged to make a request to Mayor Douglas Nicholls to propose a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Donor Awareness Day. I also met with Fire Chief Steve Irr. Chief Irr gave me his card and said that if I need help to call him and he will make sure I get help! He also said that he would share the simple but important message about why and how to join Be The Match by texting LIFE to 61474 with the fire fighters this side of Telegraph Pass.

When I arrived in Winterhaven CA I visited Yuma Regional Medical Center. The administrative folks that I needed to see were in meetings off site but I expect to make headway with them later today. I would like permission to start the walk at the medical center. I’d also like to train someone at the center to show others how to join Be The Match using their cell phone, emphasizing the need for diversity. Lastly I would like to find the right person to be in touch with Aubrie Vargas the amazing Be The Match Community Engagement Representative for this area.

The part of the day that really warmed my heart was my search for a safe place to sleep. I had been trying to to reach the right person at the Quechan Casino and Hotel throughout the day, when I learned that I would not be able to stay the sun was already low in the sky. I looked for the nearest fire station and walked over to the Imperial Valley Fire Dept Station 8. They were really great but not able to help either. I asked if there was an RV Park near where I could pitch my tent. One of the firefighters pointed to a line of palm trees in the distance.

So off I went again further from my starting point for the walk with the sun sinking lower and lower. I arrived at Sans End RV Park to find the office closed. I saw some lights on in the game room. When I walked past the window toward the door I could see they were in the middle of Bible study. I apologized for the interruption and explained my situation. Everyone was so warm and welcoming even though I could tell from their initial facial reactions I was a strange sight to behold, with my enormous backpack, standing on their door step. Not only did they welcome me they allowed me to stay in an empty apartment for the next two days until the beginning of the walk!

Here’s to another good nights sleep safe and sound because of the generosity of others.

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