KEY WEST, Fla. – A Washington state man completed a nearly 5,000-mile cross-country walk Thursday for cancer research in memory of his late mother, who died from the disease.
Grinning broadly, Matt Gregory ended his trek by touching a buoy-like monument in Key West that delineates the spot as the southernmost point in continental America.
He then jumped into the Atlantic Ocean, wearing his shoes and his backpack with a sign proclaiming “Coast to Coast Cancer Walk.” He raised about $11,000 for the cause.
“I got pretty emotional – kind of teary-eyed,” said Gregory, after being sprayed with celebratory champagne by well-wishers.
The 28-year-old Bellingham resident began his trek Sept. 1, 2006, after quitting his job as a beverage distributor.
Money raised from the walk will go to Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where Gregory’s mother, Carolyn, had a bone marrow transplant in 1979. She died in 1999.