Thurs, Feb. 27, An unexpected Hero

Dear All, Every day can be filled with promise. I know sometimes that is hard to see, to accept. But the challenges I faced yesterday were light burdens today. I had a much shorter walk. The pathway was free of obstacles and there was just a gentle cool breeze as I made my way to Casa Grande. Walking through Casa Grande I spied the newspaper office, the Casa Grande Dispatch. After hearing my story they agreed to do an interview later in the day. The general manager of the Holiday Inn offered me a room for the night along with meals! I had lunch and did my interview with Melissa from the Casa Grande Dispatch and by 4:00 I went to my room for some rest.
Around 8:00 pm I went down to the bar to have a light supper. There I could hear two men speaking with German accents. (Ronnie and Alex) During the introductions I told them and Dean who was also sitting at the bar Jada and Torsten’s story and how easy it is to join Be The Match by texting LIFE to 61474. Then I added in Germany you can type in to join the German Donor Center. The younger of the two men, Alex, said, “I know. I belong to Deutschland Knochenmarkspender and I donated my blood to a young man who was about to be married.” Just hearing their German accents had put a smile on my face because it made me feel closer to Jada’s donor, Torsten Huber. Then to hear Alex’s story of saving the life of his fellow countryman filled me with joy. Alex humbly shared his donor story. He and his recipient are the same age. He received a letter from the recipient two years post transplant that said he had married his girl and that he and his wife are indebted to Alex for his life. This is why I walk so that there will be many, many more stories of successful transplants from donor to recipient. I am especially determined to increase awareness for the need to register folks of Native American, African American, Latinx, and Asian descent, on the Be The Match registry, with this Steps To-Marrow 3 walk. You all can help by sharing how to join Be The Match by texting LIFE to 61474 and joining yourself if you are between the ages of 18 and 60 and medically eligible.

Thurs, Feb, 13, The Walk Continues on I-8 toward Arizona City

Dear All, I looked and looked and looked for someone headed west on the I-8 toward Gila Bend that could drop me between mile marker 158 and 159. After an hour and unhappy looks from the boss at the Love’s Travel Center I decided to walk west instead of trying to get a ride out to my stopping point. A new plan for the day. 🙂 After walking 4 Miles a Highway Patrol Officer stopped. I explained my situation and he offered to take a out to mile marker 159. Awesome! I can add a 1/2 mile at the end of the day! How wonderful and amusing. I came up with an alternative plan when the first didn’t unfold like I had hoped and then magically a ride appeared and there I was at my stopping point from the day before.
The rest of the day’s walk was uneventful. I enjoyed the solitude and intimacy of the winter desert.
I arrived at Montgomery Road mid-afternoon. Montgomery Road is a no services exit so I had no idea how long I would have to wait before I even saw my first car let alone got offered a ride. So I settled down to wait sitting on one of the posts supporting the guard rail.
I didn’t wait long. After about 15 minutes a white sudan appeared. I stood and put out my thumb. And she stopped!
Yesterday, I was given a ride by an explosives expert and today I was given a ride by a caregiver on her way back from gently feeding broth to a hospice patient. We had a lovely visit on the way back to the Motel 6.

Jan 31 and Feb 1, lots of walkin’

Dear All,
On Friday the 31st I walked from Wellton to Tacna on old HWY 80. I had a chance to visit with the Wellton firefighters before I left and share the message about how to join Be The Match by texting LIFE to 61474!
The old hotel in Tacna has been closed for at least 5 years. But there is a RV Park, Copper Mountain, across highway 8. They suggested that I put my tent across the road behind the park. I came up with a new strategy because the walk for Feb 1st is 15 miles. That’s a long way for me to carry all of that weight. The folks at Copper Mountain thought that my tent would be safe all day while I walked. So I left my tent up, packed my small backpack filled it with a lot of water, some trail mix and my change of shoes and walked 14 of the 15 miles. A very nice man picked me up and drove me back to Copper Mountain where I am safe and sound in my tent again.
I will be up early tomorrow to get ready for the walk to Dateland. You all enjoy the Super Bowl. 🙂

Jan 30, Quechan Tribal Council meeting

Dear All,
Pat picked me up at Sans End RV Park at 9:30 am so we would be early for the Quechan Tribal Council. It was a busy morning for them. Lots of people coming and going. I told Pat that I didn’t mind waiting because I didn’t want to feel rushed. He agreed and we sat side by side sometimes chatting sometimes in silence until it was our turn. Pat introduced me when we were before the council. They were very attentive while I described the need for increased enrollment of Native Americans on the Be The Match registry, the process of donation, the ease of joining, and more about the Jada Bascom Foundation and my walk in the Sonoran Desert. They asked good questions and said that they thought that it was a personal decision for tribal members. They said it deserved more discussion and that they would be in touch with me to let me know decisions that are taken. Pat spoke as well he elaborated on my walk and my needs as I crossed the desert as well as helping us to connect with the other local tribes. We both felt really good about the meeting with the Quechan Tribal Council.
Pat then took me to the store to get Clif bars, trail mix and sunscreen and then he took me back to the Microtel Inn and Suites in Wellton. It was sad to say goodbye to Pat Healy. I am grateful for all of his help and his wife, Sarah’s, help to!

Rita Noronha, the general manager,
at Microtel had said to stop by and see if they had a room available for me before I headed out for Tacna on Friday. She did have a room and as I thanked her she proudly said, “Of course, I am a Rotarian.” I told her I am a member of the Deer Park Rotary Club. And both of us brighten a bit from the connection.
We had hoped I would be able to attend her club meeting with the Yuma Crossing Rotary Club but unfortunately it was not to be. Thank you for your generosity Rita! It was great to have a good night’s sleep before moving further out into the wilds of the desert.

Monday 27th, Walking over the pass to Ligurta Station

Dear All, It was wonderful to have a good nights sleep at the Comfort Inn thanks to the generosity of Mary Ellen. I started my approximately 10 mile walk over the lower pass below Telegraph Pass to Ligurta Station with excitement. The pass isn’t that high but I was looking forward to to the challenge. After about 6 miles I was low on water as I expected. There were two choices for me to go to looking for water. There was a parking lot with folks hiking the Telegraph Pass trail and there was the border patrol checkpoint station. I thought it made sense to stop by the border patrol for two reasons first to ask for water and second to be sure they knew who I was and what I was doing, like a courtesy stop. After introducing myself I discovered it was a good thing I had decided to go to the border patrol checkpoint station. They had been watching my progress across the highway and would have sent someone to check on me if I had not stopped on my own.
They were quite concerned about me and my intention of walking across the desert. They asked me to wait to talk to an officer from the highway patrol. The officer politely told me that I could not walk on the highway over the pass but that he would take me the 4 miles to Ligurta Station.
Ligurta Station has a general store and RV Park and it is closed on Mondays. I was able to talk to some folks who suggested that I set my tent up across the street. I was able to charge my phone in a covered picnic area and a dear man named Frank shared a Salmon fillet with me for dinner.

Yuma, AZ Jan21

Dear All, I left Glendale, AZ this morning on a Greyhound bus and arrived in Yuma at 1:30 this afternoon. I was able to see a small part of my route between Gila Bend and Yuma from the bus window. I have been a bit worried about walking through the Sonoran Desert but having seen parts of it I feel much more comfortable about my ability to successfully and safely complete the third Steps To-Marrow walk.

After arriving in Yuma I began my search for a safe place to stay for the night. As most of my followers know I do not walk with any cash or credit cards rather I rely on the generosity of others for my food and housing every day. After asking for a room at 5 hotels the Fuentes Inn and Suites, 1513 E. 16th St., Yuma, AZ, generosity offered me a room for the night.

No request is futile. I was able to share how important it is to join Be The Match and how to join with everyone I talked with. I suggested that they share the information about joining by texting LIFE to 61474, with employees in the break room or in a newsletter, etc. Even though they were not able to help me with a room all responded enthusiastically about sharing the simple but important details about how to join Be The Match and become a potential bone marrow donor.

Thank you all for your support of the Jada Bascom Foundation’s mission of enrolling stem cell and bone marrow donors to save the lives of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. Please do share Text LIFE to 61474 with your friends, family and co-workers and be part of our life-saving efforts!

With deep gratitude,
Jeana Moore
Jada Bascom Foundation