Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Walk from California to Maine - Arthur's Interview

There were so many things going through my mind when I heard about Arthur and his story.  As a first time mom, I really was curious about how the loss of his mother, his only parent, had affected him.  I wondered about how her imprint on him, impacted the walk that he was now planning.  So I sat down with Arthur one afternoon and asked him some questions.
 
Tell me about your background.
I am originally from Des Moines, IA but moved to Omaha, NE when my father passed away in 1994. I lived there until fifth grade, then moved to my grandparent's house in Long Beach, CA with my mother. I attended Elwood P. Cubberley K-8 (where I had Arthur as a student) then Robert A. Millikan High School, the same schools that both my mother and aunts attended. I started photography in middle school, and did semi-professional work in high school. Due to everything that went on with my mom's illness, I had to drop out of my first semester of college. Now I am working as a freelance photographer/videographer to try to make ends meet.

What was your mother like?My mom was a very genuine and caring person. Thinking of others before herself was a constant. She was multi-faceted, and capable. Very Intelligent and creative, not only a computer whiz but a skilled artist with multiple mediums. She was also loving, not just of me, but of life and all that it contains. She loved anything Star Trek, and was quite the music aficionado as well. Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and David Bowie were among her favorites.

What did your mom's illness teach you that you would share with others?
Based on my experience with my mother and breast cancer, I would say it is helpful to be knowledgeable and really open. A positive attitude and sense of humor is key, but so is a readiness for the worst. This preparedness can be the most important factor in helping your loved ones. If you are prepared for the worst, then you will be able to think clearly and be able to help instead of being a bystander. Cancer is a very threatening and the very word has become quite a foreboding term. It is important to be very supportive and loving, everyone likes to be in a happy mood and this is no different when you become ill. I recommend regular doctor visits and self-exams, because knowing before it develops into something harder to manage is vital.

How has it been for you on your own since your mother passed?
Being on my own at 19 has definitely defined my sense of self and made even more aware to the world around me. My whole life, I have had to be a little more mature and independent for my age due to the fact that besides my mother, there was no one else to take care of us. I run not only my own business, but a household and my own finances. It is an everyday challenge, but thanks to the guidance and support of my mother and those around me, I am confident in myself and my situation.

What would your mom say about this breast cancer awareness walk that you are planning?She would be very proud, I actually talked with her on multiple occasions about a trip like this, at the time there was no motive other than for adventure and my portfolio. She said, “If I was ten years younger, I would go with you.” She would advise me on every danger known to mankind and make sure I called everyday or at least every few days.

What do you hope to achieve personally from this walk?Personally I hope to achieve a better understanding of myself and this world. I want to have an extensive knowledge of this entire country and those who are inhabiting it. I want to make a lot of new friends/connections and have one of the largest personal archives of the world.

What do you hope to achieve for the cause of breast cancer?I hope to raise awareness throughout the nation, the numbers will hopefully be larger than I can imagine. I will personally be meeting with thousands of people, and in this intimate setting I will do my best to spread awareness and a message of hope/optimism. I wish to raise a minimum of $50,000 to help start my organization and to make a large donation that will help save lives.

To learn more about Arthur Hitchcock and how you can support his walk for breast cancer, from California to Maine, here are some other published articles and his web sites.   Next week, Arthur will share more about his mother Janet, from his eyes.
A Modern Day Terry Fox
A Boy and His Walking Shoes
City List of Walk

Walk donation page
Breast Cancer Awareness donation page

1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

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