Cam and ZanCameron Coupe from Whidbey Island and Zan Roman from Bellingham, both 19 years old, are walking across America to raise money for Seattle Children’s. Depending on their route, the walk will be approximately 3,000 miles. Their goal is to raise $10K, which they are donating 100% of to Seattle Children’s. They will split proceeds 50/50 between Seattle Children’s uncompensated care fund and autism research. In 2013, Seattle Children’s provided $117 million dollars in uncompensated care to families in our region.

We spoke to Zan and Cam as they were just wrapping up their time in Minneapolis, MN, to find out why two college students would set out, on foot, across the country to raise money for a children’s hospital.

Fast friends, Zan and Cam met in the dorms freshman year at Washington State University, this is where they first hatched their idea to walk across the country. They immediately began mapping out their route and planning what they would need to make the trek. They have paid for the bulk of their trip out-of-pocket, but they have also received generous donations of shoes and some ready-to-eat meals. The carts they push are modified bike trailers that haul all their gear and supplies.

Eight to ten hours a day spent walking. Four pairs of shoes and numerous bike tubes and tires. That is what walking across the country has taken so far. Not to mention the endurance it takes to walk 23 miles per day and cross through mountain passes. Even now, more than halfway through their trip, they still report that Steven’s Pass, only four days into their trip, has been the hardest part, with a near 7% grade in some parts!

So with all that walking, they get to sleep somewhere comfortable right? Well, sort of. Eight out of ten nights they camp on the side of the rode or in a good samaritan’s yard. Other nights they luck out and catch a home cooked meal and some shuteye in a welcoming home.

bike cartWhen deciding where they would donate proceeds to, they really didn’t have to look too far. Zan’s older brother receives care at Seattle Children’s Autism Center and donating to autism research seemed a logical way to raise awareness and support his brother. Cam has a younger cousin that was treated for cancer a few years ago at Seattle Children’s and hopes donating to Seattle Children’s uncompensated care fund will help support families in need.

Now, a little over half way in their journey, they have raised $2.1K so far! Show support to Zan and Cam through donating on their website: http://www.walkforseattlechildrens.com/ or just walk into any Wells Fargo bank and say, “I’d like to donate to the Walk for Seattle Children’s account.” You can also follow their progress and adventure on Facebook.