Jada Bascom, my grandaughter, was born with acute myeloid leukemia; she had a bone marrow transplant when she was 6 months old. Jada is in remission and living happily with her parents in Deer Park, WA.

In order to express our gratitude to the innumerable people it took to save Jada’s life and to support our family through this crisis we began the Jada Bascom Foundation. The foundation is sponsoring Steps To-Marrow, in which I, Jada’s grandmother, Jeana Moore, will be walking from Seattle to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to New York City, to raise awareness around the need for bone marrow donors and to recruit potential bone marrow donors for the National Bone Marrow Registry.

We hope that through our efforts many people will find their match just like Jada did.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

San Luis Obispo my beloved California Live Oak

San Luis Obispo my beloved California Live Oak

Santa Margarita to San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita to San Luis Obispo Lyn Hanush

Santa Margarita to San Luis Obispo Lyn Hanush

Templeton, CA

San Miguel Mission

Paso Robles, CA

Paso Robles, CA Dear Friends, 3/2/10
I had three nights at the Farmhouse Motel in Paso Robles thanks to my friend Bob Lee in San Francisco. On Tuesday night I went to the Paso Robles city council meeting. I told Jada's story and talked about the walk. Then I made two requests that they share information about how to become a member of the National Bone Marrow Registry online with all city employees and that they make a proclamation for an annual bone marrow donation awareness day. The city council meeting is broadcast and when I got back to my hotel room I had a message from Dave Hanush. In the message he said his wife, Lyn, had walked across the counry and that they would like to meet with me before I left Paso Robles if there was time. I called them back right away and we made arrangements to meet the next day following my walk to Atascadero. They kindly offered to pick me up and bring me back in the morning so I could enjoy one more night at the Farmhouse Motel in Paso Robles. Lyn and Dave drove me around Paso Robles so I could make contacts for a bone marrow donor dirve and follow up with the city council contacts from the day before. Then we shared a wonderful Italian dinner and ice cream from Cold Stones. Lyn said that she would like to walk with me from Atasacadero to San Luis Obispo the following morning. Great contact in Paso Robles!

Bradley, CA

Bradley, CA
Dear Friends, 2/28/10
When I arrived in Bradley, population 120, I went to the CalFire station the note on the door said that they were closed until April. Good fortune was on my side and the battalion chief was there working. He introduced me to the neighbors and arrangements were made for me to pitch my tent in a strip of grass behind the houses near the tracks.
The first woman I met was Darlene. When I started to tell Jada's story tears began to well up in her eyes. I stopped speaking and began to listen to her story. She lost her granddaughter to leukemia in 1994. Her granddaughter was diagnosed when she was 3 years old. Her brother was her donor. She was 10 years old when she died. Darlene spoke about bringing her granddaughter's favorite foods to the hospital and about holding her through the physical pain. There was an understanding and connection between us because of our common experience.
After our conversation I went to the fire station where my phone was charging.
Elizabeth, another neighbor, came by and invited me to dinner with her family. They were already having guests and Elizabeth said there was plenty to go around. I had a great evening visiting with Barry, Elizabeth and Alondra. After dinner they even offered to let me have a shower. Barry is a custom auto mechanic and had lots of good ideas about our marrow mobile.
When I got back to the tent there was fruit outside left by Darlene. When I got up in the morning Darlene brought a hot cup of tea. Breakfast with the Gilmores and I was on my way again. Enriched by the people I had met in Bradley.

San Ardo, CA

San Ardo, CA
Dear Friends, 2/27/10
Walked 18.5 miles today from King City to San Ardo. Sun and rain came together and manifest the most beautiful rainbow. A treasured moment.
I had arranged with the California Highway Patrol in King City to pitch my tent in the car port of the Sheriff's substation in San Ardo. As I was pitching my tent children popped their heads over the fence to find out more about the lady who was going to spend the night in her tent.
It was really sweet. One young man named Ramon was particularly interested in the walk and learning more about what it means to be a bone marrow donor.
He invited me over to introduce me to his grandmother. I had such a good time with the Vaca family. More treasured moments!

Greenfield, CA

Greenfield, CA
Dear Friends, 2/25/10
My friend Amina says to be ready for the divine surprise. Today when I finished my days walk I walked Greenfield from one side to the other looking for housing but I was not able to find any. I was tired and it was beginning to get dark so I decided to walk back to the police station to see if they could help me. When I got there the office was closed but there was a non-emergency number on the door. I called and the dispatcher said she would send an officer. Officer Raul Garcia made some calls and helped me to get a room for the night.

Gonzales, CA

Gonzales, CA
Dear Friends, 2/24/10
I had the most wonderful hosts for the last two nights, the Lopez family from Gonzales. Their eldest son, 15 year old Jose, is fighting leukemia. Even though Jose and his Mom will be going to Standford tomorrow for a treatment, which takes 5 days, they graciously opened their home to me.
Magda Silva and I were able to set up a marrow donor drive at Madonna del Sasso, in Salinas on March 26. This is just the first of many drives planned in an effort to find a match for Jose.
I appreciate each opportunity I have to meet someone who is waiting to find their match. Their stories encourage me to keep on going. I hope their stories will encourage you to join the registry if you have not registered yet. It only takes a cheek swab to see if you are the match that can save a life.