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Walking Man Brings Message of Hope, Health to Pennsylvania

PHOTO: George Throop is making his way on foot through Pennsylvania, as part of a 4600-mile trek urging people to live healthier lives. Photo courtesy of Throop.
PHOTO: George Throop is making his way on foot through Pennsylvania, as part of a 4600-mile trek urging people to live healthier lives. Photo courtesy of Throop.
November 13, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - In the past four years, George Throop has walked roughly 4,000 miles across the country, and this week his journey has brought him to Pennsylvania with a message of good health and hope.

Throop calls it a "Walk of Inspiration," a trek on which he embarked in September 2009 in memory of his mother. She died in 1985 of cancer at age 34, when he was just 9 years old. Throop said all the time he's invested and miles he's logged come with one simple request.

"I ask that people take simple steps forward into living healthier daily lifestyles," he said. "If not already, get up, go out and take a walk today. Drink more water. I mean, it's not that hard and doesn't have to cost that much to start living a healthier lifestyle."

Throop, who was 34 when he began the walk, said his theory is that many forms of cancer are preventable and that perhaps healthier choices would have allowed his own mother to live longer.

While much of his focus involves bettering the lives of others, Throop said he recognizes that even on his worst days, tired and hungry, he can draw strength from his mother's memory.

"Basically, my mission is to do things that are great for the world around me," he said, "having reached this far in my life - further than my mother lived."

Beyond Pennsylvania, Throop said he'll wrap up his 4,600-mile walk with a final stop on Long Island in New York. His progress can be followed online, at enjoythewalk.org.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA