By JD LONG

News-Herald Staff Writer

 

photo-(1)CADIZ – Eight pairs of shoes, two walking buggies, 12 flat tires and 6.1 million steps-and he’s not finished. That is, until he sees the lights of Atlantic City.

Many people do various good things, especially for kids, but walking across America isn’t one of them, unless you’re Norman Horn.

Horn, who heads Coast2Coast, a non-profit organization for the fight against pediatric cancer, is heading home but he won’t stop there. From the Philadelphia area, Horn, who is walking across America to raise $100,000 and pediatric cancer awareness, will see family and friends as he nears eastern Pennsylvania then keep on trucking till he finishes in Atlantic City.

Horn chose walking because he felt he would miss too much on anything that had wheels, such as a bicycle.

“This allows me to meet more people, stop in more places to spread more awareness [and] raise more funding,” Horn said. He added that his mission isn’t just a physical one whereas loneliness can come into play, as well. He said that when he thinks of all the families dealing with cancer and their hardships, his physical challenge isn’t all that bad, comparatively.

“My goal to avoid that lonely factor is to have as many of these stories as I can so I have encounters with people and reaching out so I can go to dinner with somebody and stay in a nice comfortable place,” Horn said.

He walks pushing a large baby stroller with all his belongings stuffed inside. He estimates the weight at about 75 pounds, which includes, toiletries, sleeping bag, tent, clothes, and food just to name some of the necessities he carries along.

Horn said he camped for 65 straight days making it into Colorado before the generosity of people took over. Now, he says, he’s only camped one night since leaving eastern Colorado.

To reach Cadiz this past week, Horn walked 20 miles but says he averages around 25.

“I love meeting families and strangers and having you know, spontaneous encounters with people and enjoying all aspects of the trip,” he said.

Horn, who’s already walked over 2800 miles, also said he’s had a few close calls but not with people. Out west, he once had to place his buggy between him and a coyote that didn’t care much for donating. Then, when packing up his tent after a night’s camping, he discovered a rattlesnake had curled up underneath his tent to stay warm.

Horn accepts donations through his website (coast2coastftk.com) or via Facebook using a check or money order made out to: coast2coastftk.

Read the whole story in the next edition of the News-Herald.