Norman Horn, pictured above, takes a short break from his walk across the country to take a picture with his Coast 2 Coast FTK cart which holds his supplies for the trip.
HERMANN, NEW HAVEN, Mo. – Norman Horn, founder of Coast 2 Coast FTK, an organization that helps fight childhood cancer, stopped in Hermann, MO, Friday, August 8 and New Haven, MO, Saturday, August 9, on his way across the country.
Horn stayed overnight at The Stone Giraffe Bed & Breakfast in Hermann Friday before making his way to New Haven the next morning. While in New Haven, Horn stayed at The Flamingo Key. He left this morning, August 10, and is currently on his way to Augusta, MO.
He started his trip in San Francisco, CA on April 5 and plans to walk to Atlantic City, NJ by October 11. Horn decided to go on this journey to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
“I was kind of encouraged within myself to use the difficulty factor to then relate with families that suffer with cancer. I know they’re (the difficulties) not relative but there are parallels, and we have a good time talking about my ups and downs, their ups and downs; it’s kind of a stress reliever and coping mechanism for the families,” Horn said.
Horn said he walks on average 25 miles a day. Yesterday, August 9, he walked 15 miles, he plans on walking 23 miles today, but he said there have been days when he’s walked over 30 miles “so it kind of averages out to 25 (miles).”
Since the beginning of his trip, Horn has walked about 2100 miles. He said his total trip from coast to coast would be between 3200 and 3300 miles total.
The support he receives from others helps him keep going everyday.
“My supports, including the children and their families that follow me on Facebook, and the fact that I’ve made it over 2000 miles and I’m on the final third. I’m in the home stretch, kind of, even though I have so far to go,” Horn said. “And just the general encouragement of random strangers, followers on the Internet, phone calls from families, and even my family.”
He said he was surprised by the amount of help other people would give him every day.
“Not one person per week helping me with a place to stay, not a free bottle of water every now and then, it’s every single day I have a time where someone is taking care of me and I just walk in between,” Horn said.
The most difficult part of his trip so far, he said, has been the weather.
Picured left, Horn walking through New Haven on his way across the United States, August 10. Photo by Kelly Hoffmann
“The West was definitely harder than now. I was camping every night for the first two and a half months. Since I got to Kansas I’ve had people to stay with just about every night. But weather played a big factor when I was camping outside. It’s not so much now because I have a roof over my head every night,” Horn said. “Every time I got wet or cold or hot when I was camping there was nothing I could do about it, I was just in a tent everyday.”
He said his favorite part of the trip so far has been the mountains and the scenery.
“Other than raising a lot of money for kids and having a successful trip from what my original idea was, that’s probably the best thing. But I guess on a personal level, the scenery and the fact that I get to see the country at three miles a hour, (and) take pictures of everything I want. I don’t miss things, I’m going to slow for that,” Horn said.
Horn also said he has enjoyed his time in Missouri.
“You know it almost starts to feel like home. I’m from Philadelphia, so Pennsylvania is very, very similar: humid, lots of trees, lots of hills. I’m starting to feel, like I said I’m not quite in the home stretch, but I’m starting to feel like I’m approaching an area that I’m familiar with,” Horn said.
Horn has been involved with helping others who suffer from childhood cancer, which is why he chose to walk across the country for this cause.
“It’s something I’ve been a part of for over 10 years. I do not have a family relationship with childhood cancer, but I spent too much time with other families and other organizations,” Horn said. “It kind of choose me, I didn’t choose it.”
You can find out more information about Coast 2 Coast FTK and how to donate to the cause at their website, www.coast2coastftk.com. And to stay updated with Horn’s journey across the country you can like his Facebook page Coast 2 Coast FTK or follow him on Twitter @coast2coastFTK.