Walking Across Amarrowca

You may remember from a previous post that my good friend, Jared Reichbaum, is making a documentary film inspired by my story and based on his amazing adventures. Well, he has just embarked on a truly remarkable adventure. Truly. Remarkable. So I’ll remark about it. Jared is walking across the United States of America. That’s right, he’s WALKING ACROSS the country, with an ‘r‘.  Badass level:  Maximum. Jared started his trek in the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, and he’s going to enter the Pacific Ocean sometime this fall, after walking well over 3,000 miles and through about 7 pairs of Asics.  So that right there is enough to be in the stellar human category, but no, Jared isn’t satisfied with just the stellar human badge, he’s going way beyond that by Walking Across Amarrowca!  Ya, this little walk of his is going to include many Be The Match bone marrow donor drives along his route, coordinated by Be The Match, culminating in one huge-ass celebration donor drive when he arrives at the Pacific coast.  Jared’s first major destination after departing Atlantic City was Philadelphia.

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Team Amarrowca

There in the City of Brotherly Love, on April 18th, Todd and I joined Jared and his fantastic family and friends for the Be The Match 5K, benefitting the National Bone Marrow Registry. At the finish line, Jared pulled a Forrest Gump, and just kept on going.  Once Jared reaches the Nevada/California border (probably October), I plan to join him to walk across California.  Should take a couple of weeks 🙂   He is pushing a cart containing all he might need on his journey, including a tent, a little stove, water, food, several pairs of shoes, many layers of clothing, cheek swabbing kits, rain gear, sunscreen, blister kit, and most importantly, bear mace!  His is no ordinary walk-across-the-country-cart, either.  Jared pimped his cart.  He’s got a rear view mirror (the better to see you – bears/rabid dogs/felons – with, my dears), a tall mast flying an Amarrowcan flag, flat-proof/beefy tires, cushy/shock absorbing handle grip, and of course, Walking Across Ammarowca signage.  Jared has posted a Kickstarter campaign to help with his journey’s expenses as well as post production costs for what will be an incredible documentary.  Check it out by clicking the logo below.  Be sure to watch the short trailer for his film and check out ways you can be a part of the project!

Click the made-by-me logo to watch the trailer!
Click the made-by-me logo to watch the trailer!

When Jared reaches his hometown of Pittsburgh, he will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Pirates (he’s been a huge Pirates fan his entire life) vs. Twins game on May 19!  How f-ing cool is that?  It’s ice cold, I tell ya.

Two life-savers in the family!
Two life-savers in the family!

Two days ago, I attended City of Hope’s 39th annual Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion.  This was my third reunion, and once again, it brought to light just how lucky I am to be treated at such a magical place.  I was joined by my amazing and miraculous caretaker, Todd, my hero life-saving marrow donating brother, Leason, and my life-saving, stem cell donating-to-a-stranger son, Rex.  When all donors were asked to stand, it was absolutely incredible to have my brother and my son both stand up.  They got a huge applause!

Now that I’m feeling stronger, I’ve been very busy checking items off my bucket list.  Not that I’m feeling any urgency or anything.  Our hilarious and supportive friend, Bart recently suggested that all buckets be removed from our home.  I would just like to let Bart know that, while I appreciate his concern with my bucket list obsession,  actually kicking the bucket is NOT on the list.  Recent bucket list stompings:

#36: Falconry - check
#36: Falconry – check
#1: Join the Century Travelers' Club
#1: Join the Travelers’ Century Club – check
#42: Ride a Segway
#42: Ride a Segway – check
#56: Find treasure
#56: Find treasure – check
#59: Visit the top of Burj al Khalifa (world's tallest building) - check
#59: Visit the top of Burj al Khalifa (world’s tallest building) – check

Last week, I witnessed one of the coolest things ever and I knew I had to try it, so even though it was not officially on my list, I consider it a spur of the moment add:

Jae, me and Kristin enjoying a YOLT day!
Jae, me and Kristin enjoying a YOLT day!

For my birthday (52!), my dear friends, Jae and Kristin took me out for a day of bucket list fun, complete with YOLT caps!  We raced around a track, as a warm up for my real race car bucket list item, and we selected a “Top 100” book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, that will count towards another list entry of reading all 100 of the best books ever written.

UPDATE:  As soon as Dr. F saw my blood work results at my last appointment, he remarked that my counts were remarkably unremarkable.  I’ll take that as a compliment.  My blood could not be doing any better, which is AWEandthenSOME!  I still have a little eye shituation, but I’m seeing my ophthalmologist Dr. K this week, so hopefully she can help me out with Mr. Righty’s constant tearing and inflammation.  I am going to schedule surgery on Mr. Lefty very soon, ’cause it would be really nice to see out of him, and I live for playing pirate post op 🙂  This week reminds me of the good ole days, with three medical appointments:  Dr. K, Dr. J (dermo) and Dr. F, along with AFBT – Another F-ing Blood Test and AFBS – Another F-ing Booster Shot.

Oh ya, I almost forgot – my new favorite:  ASY – Always Say Yes!

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I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog, joselynsbrawl.com, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

17 thoughts on “Walking Across Amarrowca

  1. Love this. You looked great at the reunion. I have been following Jared and I am in Aww of what the two of you have been doing. 😉

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  2. YOLT….that’s the way to live life my friend! Loved Sharing a YOLT day with you and Kristin to celebrate your #52 b-day! Funny how birthday’s take a whole new meaning once you have a life threatening disease and you now treasure every day you live on this earth. ASY- Always say yes…I love the new mantra!
    TTF, Jae

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  3. My darling Jos and Toady:

    This post on Joselyn’s Brawl is such fun to read… I still hold my breath reading it through and thank God you are doing so well. It is rather a sweet idea about the “Bucket List”…. I had never heard of this before…. now I understand much better the idea..

    You friend, Jared Reichbaum (rich tree) and your complete backing of his campaign sounds fantastic. Amarrowca is a great name what a cause he is advertising….

    I wish him luck and certainly want to be there at the dip in the Pacific scene…..

    My lovely, dearest Joselyn, April 2nd not go by without my thoughts of you and others of our family who celebrate an April birthday. Sofia Rose turned 12 on Apr 3rd and Isabella Charlotte turned 16 on April 6th. HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

    See you at the Ol’ Correl at Caryll’s.

    Auntie eChar

    Sent from Windows Mail

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  4. Hey Jos, You never cease to amaze me. Al through your trials and travails you have never complained, bitched, or moaned which says so much about you; and now you are advocating for Jared, (again beyond yourself) and his mission to make a difference. I hope he qualifies for a Global Grins toothbrush for his journey!! His trailer about his life and goals tells it all. And he met Joan Rivers. Forgive me for not knowing who the heck he held an umbrella for. He has come a long way since then.

    Thanks for the bucket shout out and your clarification. Made my day. Perhaps as Nurse Todd removes all kickable buckets from the house, you can give one to Jared for his general but private functions along his journey. Now there’s a stellar use for a bucket. Oh, is naked bungy jumping on the list, Oh no, I’d get a black eye!! Did I just say that?! Todd, I apologize.

    On a serious note, can a celebratory dinner for us and Bro Nurse Todd be on your B list? My pleasure! Trust me, I’ve been on several lists in my day. No comment. Yes, thats an invitation. You got that?! Really. Gotta do it.

    So keep up the good work and my next step is to kickstarter. now that’s a “kick” that’s ok with me. Thanks for mentoring Jared. I like your latest ASY. And, as always, whatever you need Madame Wonderful, the answer is yes.

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    1. Bart – Can’t wait for our dinner to celebrate YOU and your absolutely amazing support over the last few years! Thanks for your investment in Walking Across Amarrowca – you are over the top wonderful! XO

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