Westminster Alum takes a “Walk of a Lifetime” across the U.S.
Matt Charros is trekking from Maine to California to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
Oct. 6, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY – It all started April 2009: one man, one mission, one baby stroller and a puppy named Onyx. Starting from the easternmost point of the United States, Westminster alumnus Matt Charros began his 3,400-mile trek with a stroller filled with supplies and a mission to raise awareness about the terrible disease plaguing his sister known as multiple sclerosis.
Charros began the journey on Easter Sunday in West Quoddy Head, Maine and plans to walk across the country with the goal of arriving in Bodega Bay, Calif., the first week of November. During his journey, he will visit his old stomping grounds at Westminster College on October 8 to speak to students and the community about his adventures and try to raise money for his cause. Matt will be available for interviews at 10 a.m. at the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House. Please contact Krista DeAngelis at (801) 505-3213 for more details.
“I lived in Salt Lake for seven years, and it’s always felt like home,” said Charros. “I’ve always wanted to give it [the walk] a shot and get some publicity for MS. My sister was diagnosed with MS in 2001, and I want to raise funds to start an art therapy studio for people suffering from MS.”
Walking approximately 25 to 30 miles a day, Charros gets up at about 7 a.m., packs, eats breakfast and then gets on the road. He typically finishes around 6 p.m., and then hunkers down for the evening in a tent he sets up about 50 to 100 yards off the road. The days are long and tiresome, but he is kept company by his puppy Onyx, who he acquired as a companion in Indiana.
“This dog has caught several gophers, rabbits, mice and a pigeon along the way,” he laughs. “She got some thorns in her paws in Indiana and had to ride in the stroller's trailer, but she’s been walking the rest of the time.”
In addition to his dog, Charros has found company with some of the drivers who seem to be quite curious about his adventure. “Sometimes people pull over and asks questions, which gives me a break,” he said.
Charros is currently in Colorado, and has had some challenging moments along the way.
“The biggest challenge so far has been the altitude,” he said. “Eight thousand feet is tough and you have to make small strides. The Midwest was kind of boring, mentally, and it starts to wear on you. I was not a big fan of Iowa, I thought the Midwest was supposed to be flat but it wasn’t. However, when I hit the Rockies, it was a rejuvenation.”
Charros, who was an art major as an undergraduate, hopes to start an art therapy studio with the funds he raises from the trip. He has been chronicling his adventures on Facebook and hopes that all the publicity will help generate awareness for MS as well as motivate people to donate to his therapy studio efforts.
You can “friend” Matt Charros on Facebook or visit http://www.walkofalifetime.org to make a donation.