Collegeville Man to Walk Cross-Country to Honor his Late Wife

Dave Brown will walk from Atlantic City to San Francisco, hoping to raise $110,000 for ovarian cancer research.


“With apologies to Lou Gehrig I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth to have known my wife Joan for over four decades,” Dave Brown says in the preamble to his blog, ocjoan.blogspot.com. “I am a better person because of her."

Joan passed away from ovarian cancer in August of 2011, and Brown is honoring her memory in a 227-day cross-country walk, beginning next month.

“Before she passed away from the dreaded disease she told me if there was anything that I could do to use her experience to help other women with ovarian cancer she was for it,” the preamble continues.

“This is the reason for the walk.”

On February 28, Brown will set out on a seven-and-a-half month trek from Atlantic City to San Francisco, with hopes to raise $110,000 for ovarian cancer research, and to share the “many benefits of walking.” 

The trip will take Brown through 14 states and will cover 2,995 miles at an average of 14 miles per day, traveling mostly on US Route 40 from Atlantic City to St. Louis and US Route 50 from St. Louis to San Francisco.

Both Dave and Joan have walked thousands of miles as part of the Liberty Bell Wanderers  chapter of the American Volkssport Association – a group dedicated to “Volkssporting,” a non-competitive recreation program in which groups form “walks” around historic and scenic sights throughout the United States.

Approaching the end of his trek in San Francisco, Brown will do the 12K Golden Gate Bridge and the 6K San Francisco AVA walks that he did with his wife on July 1, 2007.

Additionally, Brown will recreate photos that were taken in a book Joan gave him in the 1980s, which chronicled one couple's travels along Route US 40 in the 1980s.

Brown, who retired from Vanguard in July, has only missed four days of training since retirement. His minimum workout is three hours of walking or biking, or two hours in the gym.

Brown, who will update his blog daily as the walking begins, is in need of help with lodging along his route. A detailed itinerary is posted with the photos in this article, and is also linked on his blog.

If you are able to help, please contact ocmdbreeze@aol.com or 610-906-6252.

To donate to Brown’s “Walk Across America," click here.

For more information on Volkssporting, visit the American Volkssport Association website.

Paula Goff January 10, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Would love to read the first part of this story & others on my phone but can't get rid of ad blocking the view!
Jasper Di Santo January 10, 2013 at 05:36 PM
OMG! Ya gotta love this guy. go Dave Go. Be safe.
michele January 10, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Way to go Dave, what a wonderful tribute to your love for Joan. I grew up in Norris Hills and now we live in the same neighborhood CSC. My mom passed away in January 2010 and Joan sent me the most beautiful letter with her memories of my mom, I treasure that note. Good luck with the walk.
Laurie Devers January 10, 2013 at 09:09 PM
There is a problem with your advertising sale space when viewed on an iphone. It covers a portion of the article and cannot be removed
Brittany Tressler (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Our IT crew is working on ads popping up on the mobile site. In the meantime, you can scroll down and click "Go to desktop site" - sorry for the inconvenience!
Jerry January 11, 2013 at 08:16 PM
This is really good stuff. You go man.
Marianne Albretsen January 27, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Hi Dave! I will be cheering you on towards the last few days when you reach San Francisco! What a wonderful tribute for your wife! Is there any groups out here that I could join? I want to share the awareness of ovarian cancer to others as I lost my sister 10 months ago after a 6 year battle! Any info on any groups in Sacramento or San Francisco would be great!


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