Walking for Epilepsy

A Journey of Love

By Karla Brown

 

Karla is finally finished with her walk!!

937-days and 9,000 miles later she is finally done

Please be patient as I post more information on here and wrap things up.

Click here to see her map

Or click here for an archive of her travels

From Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

Howdy! My name is Karla Brown and I'd like to tell you why I'm walking across America.

I began my walk on March 4, 2001 from Seattle WA and am now past St. Joe, Arkansas and heading south, covering 26 states, over 6,000 miles and so far am on my 14th pair of
shoes!  The entire trip will take 2.5 yrs to complete and cover 9,000 miles.

The reason I'm doing this walk is to celebrate my freedom from having epileptic seizures. You see, I'd had epilepsy most of my life, but 20 years ago I went up to Seattle and had brain surgery to correct it. Ever since then I've not had another seizure! Prior to that, I was taking 21 pills a day and still having 2 or 3 seizures every day.

It has now been 20 years since I've been seizure-free, and this is my way of celebrating. I began my walk on March 4, 2001 (so that I could march forth on March 4th.) I started up in Seattle at Harborview Medical Center, and my goal is to get to Washington DC. My goal is to raise awareness for epilepsy, and to try and show others with epilepsy the opportunities that I've had.

One of the ways I try to raise awareness is by giving talks about epilepsy at schools, churches, and also civic clubs. I have a flip chart that I use during my talk, and I help make others aware of the different types of seizures, first-aid treatment, and help clear up some of the misconception that many people may have about epilepsy. The speech I give usually takes about 25 minutes to so, and then I tell them about all the grand adventures I've had since I've been out walking. Of course, they usually have many questions to ask, both about epilepsy and my walk, and I leave those events feeling satisfied that they have learned a bit more about epilepsy than they knew before.

Another way that helps get the word out is through media outlets, such as newspapers, radio and TV stations. I am thrilled when I am able to tell my story and know it will reach many, many people.

One of the neatest things I've learned during my trip is that people are so nice and so kind. So far, the very worst thing that has happened to me on this trip was when I was checking into a motel in Provo, Utah, and the lady asked me for my AARP card (I'm only 39!!) Meeting people on this trip has really been the most rewarding part of the journey. The kindness and generosity of strangers is truly amazing and greatly appreciated.

I've learned so much on this trip! Walking across our beautiful country has completely changed my outlook, attitude, and gratitude. And meeting good, kind, people on a daily basis is extremely uplifting. I was able to go deep sea fishing in Oregon, walk through the Redwood Forest in California, see Lake Tahoe, go sight-seeing in Salt Lake City, travel across 400 miles of desert in Nevada and Utah, go white water rafting in Colorado, stay at 2 monasteries - one in Colorado and another in Maine, tour Fort Riley Army Base in Kansas and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri (home of our Stealth B2 Bombers), go to Kansas City Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo, and to the top of the Arch in St. Louis, visit many Civil War sights in WV, VA and PA, go to a Baltimore Orioles game, and I even got to go to Manhattan and see Ground Zero. I was able to walk out on to Cape Cod, and during that time, near Dennis port, I was able to stay in someone's beach cabin for 3 days for free! I continued on out to the very tip of the Cape and then took the ferry to Boston. More recently, when I was in Freeport ME, I was able to talk LLBean out of a pair of hiking shoes, in-soles, a t-shirt, a fanny-pack, and a lunch -- all for free!

I usually average around 15 miles a day. I walk during the day and sleep at night, just like you do. I also take days off periodically, usually a couple days a week. Since I'm paying for this trip myself, staying in a motel is a real luxury. Most of the time I'll stay inside a church, or at a fire station, or possibly at someone's house. If none of that works out, then I do have a tent and can camp out. But I'm kind of a wimp, and I'm going to try and get indoors any chance I can (I happen to like plumbing!) I know this sounds a little crazy staying at fire station, but y'know, I have more fun doing that!

 

Perhaps someday there will be a cure for epilepsy. Until then, it is my goal to continue to help raise awareness for epilepsy.

If you would like to contact me please send me an e-mail message at: 
Karla Brown 
kbwalk@mymailstation.com

Also check out some of the following links:

The EYiE Daily News
BC Epilepsy Society
Cadillac News
The Winchester Star
The Vernal Express

Read Karla's latest updates and past archives

Updates

Browse through some of her pictures here

Karla's Pictures

 

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