Monday, December 22, 2014

Going the extra mile

Cameron Coupe and Alexander Roman, from the Seattle, Washington, area, enjoyed the hospitality of West Side UMC during their cross-country fundraising walk.

By Tammy Byerly

Meet Cameron “Cam” Coupe and Alexander “Zan” Roman from the Seattle, Wash. area. These remarkable young men are walking across the United States to raise money for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Both boys have ties to the hospital and want to give back.

“The reason that I am walking is to help support Seattle Children’s Hospital, specifically the Autism Center,” said Zan. “I have a younger sister and older brother in my family. My brother is autistic, and I am utilizing this walk to help fund autism research. I am using this opportunity to help many people I don’t know, and to grow and mature as a person while on this adventure.”

“I began to entertain the idea of walking across the United States ‑ Seattle to New York ‑ nearly two years ago,” shared Cam. “The ball really began rolling when I found someone crazy enough to do the walk with me! This person just so happened to be my roommate Zan.”

At that point they decided to walk for a cause, and that was to support Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“I chose to raise money for Seattle Children’s because my cousin Katie suffered through two bouts of cancer before losing the fight on September 30, 2006, at age 7. After the five month trek from coast to coast, I will return to school knowing that I gave back, and did all that I could to help out children fighting battles 100 times more difficult than walking America.”

Both boys are attending Washington State University, taking the fall semester off to finish this amazing walk for children. Both boys worked summer jobs in 2013 to earn money toward this endeavor.

They started their journey in Seattle on May 19, 2014, and made their way into Clearfield, Pa., on Friday, October 3, marking their 140th day and 920 hours of walking.

Zan called West Side UMC to see if they could pitch their tent on the property for the night. The church secretary spoke with head of trustees, Bill Emerick, who happens to live next door to see if it would be OK. He said “Yes! of course,” but he took it a little further.

Bill fed them, let them shower, let them do their laundry, and let them sleep in his home on the very rainy and damp night.

While there the boys went to Dutch Pantry for dinner, toured West Side United Methodist Church, met with the pastor, Rev. Dr. Joleen Willis, and met several local people attending a Safe Sanctuaries training before heading to Peebles for new sneakers.

Cam had worn through six pairs of sneakers, and that night he had two different ones on because of blisters. Zan was on his fourth pair. When they reached New York City October 14, 2014, they had walked over 2,800 miles, averaging around 25 miles per day.

Both boys were very thankful, respectful, and loved to share about their journey thus far.

Zan posted on Facebook that Pennsylvania was a contender for the most beautiful state on the trip.
While on their journey, both boys called/texted home daily, and journaled every day for about two hours. They appreciated all the help along the way and especially the donations for the children. You can follow their journey on Facebook at Walk for Seattle Children’s and place a donation for this journey at

Travelers Cameron Coupe and Alexander Roman, who walked from Seattle, Wash. to New York City, met Rev. Dr. Joleen Willis during their stay at West Side UMC in Clearfield.

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