Man treks through Aiken on his way to raise money for cancer research

February 23, 2019

A California man spending his 50th year of life on the road will be spending time in Aiken this weekend.

Thomas Curran is a chef who decided about a year ago that he was going to walk across the United States. Originally he was going to do the walk just to walk, not for charity, but is now raising money for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

“After around a month of planning, I decided it could be a good way to make money for charity,” Curran said.

He started in Holden Beach, North Carolina, and has been making his way to and across South Carolina for around 14 days, averaging 19 miles per day.

Curran said the scenery has changed from when he started inside South Carolina until now. He said he was just getting used to swamp land, which after Columbia, turned into farmland.

Curran’s planning to stay in Aiken all day Saturday and pick up the walk Sunday, when he will head to Augusta, then Atlanta, then Memphis, and beyond – all the way to Newport Beach in California.

One of Curran’s main goals is to meet awesome people, saying you never really get to hear about good people on the news anymore.

“It’s been incredible,” he said, “so many people every single day stop to talk to me.”

He said he’s only had one bad experience on his second day, but the experience already seems so long ago.

The outpouring of support he has received means he has only had to camp out a couple of times since starting his journey, Curran said.

Curran’s website, movingonwest.com, has a place where people can donate to Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Every single penny counts, he said, and it really adds up. He said his ex-wife, who he is still best friends with, is a cancer survivor, and her family is part of a group that helped start PCRF, which has raised over $42 million for cancer research since it’s beginning, according to the PCRF website.

While in Aiken, Curran said he has a host family to stay with, and plans for visits with Flanigan’s Ice Cream and Woods Farm Market.