Feb 6th and 7th, walking into Gila Bend

Dear All, I was lucky to find safe rides out into the desert to my stopping points and back into Gila Bend on Thursday and on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon I finally walked myself into Gila Bend.
Wed, Thursday and Friday nights I was the guest of my trail Angel, Linda. Linda bought some property that has two brick buildings on it. They used to be apartments but she doesn’t think anyone has lived in them since the 70’s. She bought them thinking she could fix them up and create housing for veterans in need. She has been working on the project for two years and still has a long way to go. In the meantime she gives homeless and/or jobless folks a place to stay. I met Linda at The Church at Gila Bend late on Wednesday night and she has allowed me to stay as I walked into Gila Bend. It has been a blessing to know that I have a safe place to lie my head down at night. It isn’t much but it is ample accommodations for me. Linda lets me use her bathroom because the bathroom in my room doesn’t have working fixtures. My room has electricity that is a power cord coming through the window. It is just enough for me to charge my phone at night and to use a small lamp. There is a mattress where I can lay out my sleeping bag.
At night when Linda returns from volunteering at The Church at Gila Bend food bank she has been preparing dinner for both David and I. How lovely and generous she has been.
I continue my walks along Pima Street, east to west in the mornings and west to east in the afternoons. Having arrived in Gila Bend officially my next walk will take me out of Gila Bend and begin my trek to Tucson.

Day One Steps To-Marrow 3

Dear All, The first day of the walk was a day that brought the unexpected.
I started the Third Steps To-Marrow walk at Yuma City Fire Department, Station 1. Channel 11 News KYMA was present to conduct interviews. Pat Healy and his wife Sarah were also there. The firefighters that weren’t out on calls also came out to see me off.
I will post the web address for the news footage as soon as we get it.
After walking for a couple of hours I stopped by a Dairy Queen to see if I could get some thing to eat. I didn’t realize this particular Dairy Queen just served ice cream. I thanked the woman helping me and said I better have something more substantial. She was moved by Jada’s story and said that I should stop by Arby’s down the road. She called ahead so they would feed me when I got there. I found out later that her name was Kim. She and the employees at Arby’s took good care of me.
Sarah Healy met me at Arby’s and walked a couple of hours with me.
I enjoyed having her with me on the first day of the walk. When Sarah headed back I had about 4 miles to the Cocopah Casino where I planned to end the walk for the day.
I had called the Cocopah Casino the day before to see if I could put up my tent with their RV’s. The gentleman that I spoke with thought it would be okay and told me to ask for a floor manager when I arrived.
Sadly, that didn’t work out for me so with my thumb out I was picked up by a kind young man who took me to the San Luis Fire Station. Unfortunately, after I had settled down for the night the firefighters were asked to take me to the Crossroads Mission back in Yuma. So at 9 pm I repacked my gear and back to Yuma I went.
I was pretty tired when I finally laid down on the mat that was provided to me by the mission

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.

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