05-06-2009, 01:09 PM
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida Keys
Rick Hammersley - RIP
Rick was a full timer originally from Indianapolis who was diagnosed with colon cancer about 5 or so years ago. After recovering, he decided to walk across America to raise funds for colon cancer research. So after about a year of planning, he started walking on April 1, 2008 in Bodega Bay, CA. Over the next 7 months, his faithful wife Valda followed his path in their Class C all the way to Coney Island, NY.
I saw an article about Rick in Highways magazine and dropped him an email offering to help out when he got to NJ. We traded emails and advice on navigating NJ’s roads and cities. In late October 2008, Rick and Valda camped out in my driveway on their way to the George Washington Bridge.
My family and I had the honor of walking with Rick for about 10 miles through NJ and then joining him for the last mile through Brooklyn to the Atlantic.
During the final stages of his walk, Rick felt that something was wrong but still kept to his goal. After the walk was over, he went to the VA hospital in Oklahoma City and got the bad news that his cancer was back.
After radiation therapy, he had surgery but they could not remove the whole tumor. Unfortunately, two days after surgery, there was a perforation somewhere in his colon and he turned septic. Despite our prayers and the efforts of his surgeons, Rick passed away on April 20.
Remember Rick, Valda and the rest of their family in your prayers. To see Rick’s incredible story, visit his blog at www.rickwalksamerica.com.
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles