DC teacher walking coast to coast to raise money for cancer research

A high school teacher at a D.C. private school is currently on the road traveling across the country by foot for a good cause.

Jarad Schofer, a math teacher at St. Albans School in Northwest, is attempting to walk 3,000 miles from coast to coast to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute.

But the 43-year old admits the journey is pushing him to his limits.

“It is going about as well as it can probably, but it’s very challenging and difficult,” Schofer told WTOP.

He started his walk on March 14 in Santa Monica, California, and he has made his way so far through Arizona, New Mexico and the Texas panhandle with a goal of reaching Virginia Beach in “probably about 35 days or so.”

Jarad Schofer is making his way across the country. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

Schofer, who’s currently in Oklahoma, was inspired to take a spring sabbatical and complete the walk after recently losing a colleague to pancreatic cancer.

“I think that’s really where the seed was planted,” Schofer said. “She was a good friend, and I just thought to myself, ‘Wow, I would love to do something some day.'”

While he has received support from St. Albans and encountered lots of people along the way who have donated to his cause, provided food and even shelter for a night, Schofer said a walk across the country is not as romantic as it sounds.

“This is brutal. I can’t lie,” said Schofer, who’s trying to average about 35 walking miles a day. “This is 90% tough and 10% fun, and the 90% is loneliness, isolation, ‘Where do I sleep tonight,’ fear, ‘I have no cell service.'”

But he also said that he is finding a pace while facing daily hurdles.

“The mental part is harder than the physical,” Schofer said. “I think my feet have gotten used to it. Some of my muscles ache, but it’s mostly about just getting out there and fighting with the elements, and a lot of the things that people don’t think come with walking across the country.”

Schofer is also no stranger to extreme adventures.

Last June, Schofer completed a run of every street and alley in D.C., which took about nine months.

So how does this compare?

“This is insanely more difficult than that,” Schofer chuckled. “I would do that a hundred times before I’d do this again.”

Schofer has a fundraising page with a goal of collecting $30,000 by the time his journey is complete. He’s currently at nearly $22,000.

You can follow Schofer’s ongoing journey at his Instagram account.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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