Jim has attempted to walk across the United States five times...on foot. He was born in Orange, New Jersey and raised in Livingston, New Jersey. He is a four year Marine Corps veteran. He is 55 years old and “qualifies for the Denny’s senior menu”. In addition to his amazing sense of humor and knack for accents, he has big dreams and believes the 6th attempt to cross the United States will be the last.
Jim set out to cross the United States on foot for the first time in April of 1998 for cancer research awareness in memory of his father, Lawrence Hickey. He made it from New York to Clovis, New Mexico (2,154 miles). The walk ended because of his lack of a support team to help cross the mountains and desert out west.
His second attempt started on September 5, 2001, the anniversary of losing his father. This time he made it from Washington, D.C. to Denver, Colorado (2,282 miles). Again, the walk ended because of not being able to secure a support team out west. “The third walk ended because I got sick of it after 1,111 miles,” says Jim. The fourth ended after 705 miles because his mom passed away and he had to return home. The fifth attempt ended after 1,507 miles because of complications from breaking his leg after being hit by a car. Each failed attempt left Jim feeling devastated for not being able to complete it. He won’t stop walking until he makes it from the east coast to the west coast.
His next attempt to cross the U.S. will start at the end of this year, 2017.
“On all of my walks, 7,759 miles, I walk to raise awareness for a cure. I do not take donations. Instead I ask people to donate to whatever cause is close to their heart if my walk inspired them to do so. I have also walked for 23 children and 10 adults, using my walk as a platform through the media to help them. I have spoken to over 40 schools and I was able to raise awareness through 216 newspapers and 133 local TV newscasts. On the fifth walk I was able to get a few kids scholarships to Iowa State University through Fred Hoiberg who is now head coach of the Chicago Bulls.”
Jim has stayed at the Fernweh Inn & Hostel a few times in hopes to create relationships in Colorado to help support his 6th attempt across the states. Colorado is the furthest he made it on any of the walks. It has been a joy to have Jim in the house and his positive attitude towards life is uplifting and inspiring.
To follow Jim’s journey, google cancerwalkusa.com (being revamped at the moment, but at the end of the first page you can see articles written from across the United States). Or, click here to visit YouTube to see Cancer Walk USA videos.
If Jim’s story has inspired you, you can also visit cityofhope.org to donate to cancer research. Thank you for reading!