|10/24/2013 5:00:00 PM|
Woman's dedicated journey takes her through Iowa County
Her journey started five months ago in Ocean Shores, Washington and has taken her through numerous states across the nation. Her cause: to distribute small beads in the shape of tennis shoes to children all over America coping with serious illness through an organization called Beads of Courage.
|The Chronicle spotted Stacie Eichinger walking in front of Landsí End on Thursday, October 10 with her BMW (Bead My Walk) cart. She was walking through Iowa County with Walk 4 Courage, a journey that began five months ago in Washington.|
"What I enjoy most is the people and the kids I see in the hospitals," Stacie Eichinger, the women behind the Walk 4 Courage said.
When passing through Iowa County on Thursday, October 10, the Chronicle tracked down Eichinger on King Street in front of Lands' End.
Eichinger had walked around 2,175 miles at that time. Her Walk 4 Courage Facebook page indicates she is close to leaving the state now and walking into Illinois.
She plans on ending in Savannah, Georgia, tracking 3,800 miles total. Her walk would take her coast to coast, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
The night before she arrived in Dodgeville, Eichinger had stayed in Cobb with Laura Daniels and her family. Daniels had heard about Eichinger's Walk 4 Courage through Facebook.
"I followed the links and found she would be walking within .2 miles of our farm!" Daniels said. "I messaged her and the relief in her voice was noticeable."
This was Eichinger's first time in Wisconsin and her first time on a dairy farm. She ended up staying with Daniels and her family for two nights on their farm.
"Wisconsin has been good for me for finding places to stay," Eichinger said.
After staying with the Daniels', Eichinger continued walking toward Dodgeville along Highway 18. Her goal when she got to Dodgeville was to hop on the Military Ridge Trail, which would take her through Ridgeway, Barneveld, Mt. Horeb and eventually to Fitchburg where she spent that weekend in Madison for the UW homecoming.
"Even without press, people were stopping with cash and food," Eichinger said. "It was amazing."
Eichinger's Walk 4 Courage stems from her involvement with Beads of Courage, an organization that provides arts-in-medicine programs for children with serious illnesses. The idea behind this organization's program is the distribution of beads that signifies the strength and courage of those children battling serious illness.
For example, a child may receive a colored bead for a blood transfusion. The bead is added to other beads the child has received, allowing them to tell their story and milestones they may have reached through this unique way of storytelling.
Eichinger hopes to raise $38,000 through her walk, with all proceeds going towards Beads of Courage. She is close to reaching 50% of her goal with an estimated four months left on her journey.
For more information on Eichinger, her walk across America and Beads of Courage, visit her website at www.walk4courage.com or follow her on Facebook- Walk 4 Courage.
For those interested in donating to Eichinger's walk, donations are accepted on her website. All donations are tax deductible and benefit Beads of Courage.
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