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Coast to Coast

London-based translator Phil Goddard, 48, walked over 3,000 miles across America to raise money for AICR. Phil set off from New York on 25th June 2006 heading for California on a ten month odyssey dubbed Journey for Jayne. The walk was in memory of his wife, who died of colon cancer in January 2006 at the age of 49.

You can read Phil's personal account of his adventure at

Phil arrived safely on Venice Beach, California on Sunday 6th May, 2007. We would like to thank everyone who donated towards Phil's fund and also to the following companies for their generous support:

  • DMS in Cheltenham. DMS have been with AICR pretty much from the start. They devise and run all of our Direct Mail campaigns and have been instrumental in raising millions of pounds for research over more than 25 years.
  • CC Technology in Glasgow. CCT are a software company who have written systems for us which enable us to carry out our work efficiently and with the minimum of staff. They also built our website and designed and built Phil's NYtoLA site.
  • Relationship Marketing in Dunfermline. RM look after the running of our successful "Home Money Box" scheme, which allows our supporters to save their loose change and donate it to AICR. This is a new campaign that is already paying dividends.
  • Marriott Hotels, who provided Phil with many complimentary nights during his walk.
  • Sprint Nextel who provided Phil with a cell phone and free calls - this was a lifeline which kept him in touch with the world during his 10 months on the road.

Before Phil set off, we talked to him about his walk.


What prompted you to do this?

If I’m being honest, it’s for me first and foremost. I miss Jayne very much, and I need time to reflect on our eighteen happy years together and decide what to do next with my life.

Put my show and this player on your website or your social network.

But I also want to raise lots of money for a really good cause. If just one piece of research helped by my walk saves one person’s life, it will all have been worthwhile.

I’ve already raised £4,000 from friends, family and neighbours, and I’m hoping that AICR supporters and people I meet along the way will be equally generous.

Why did you choose AICR?

Phil sets off from New York

Because of one word: ‘international’. Cancer research benefits patients everywhere, but I was particularly keen that donors in the UK, the States and elsewhere could relate to the projects being funded by AICR in their own countries.

Why walking? And why America?

I’ve always loved the United States and its people. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been there, and I’ve visited nearly every state, but it’s always been at an average speed of about 55 mph. This time I want to slow down to a snail’s pace and explore the byways rather than the highways.

What route will you be taking?

I’m still not totally sure. One possibility is to walk to Chicago and then follow the route of the old Route 66, which is steeped in history, to Los Angeles. Another is the American Discovery Trail, which runs across the middle of the country along back roads and hiking trails. And I need to head quite a long way south to avoid the cold weather and the Rockies when winter arrives.

Will you really walk every step of the way?

Yes. If I’m ten miles out of town, it’s getting late and I really want to sleep in a hotel that night, I’ll thumb a ride. But I’ll always return to the same place next day and continue walking from there.

I’m not going to be such a purist that I never use any form of mechanised transport. For example there are two main ways of getting out of New York City and into New Jersey. I can spend hours walking a couple of hundred blocks north to the George Washington Bridge, which pedestrians are allowed to cross, or I can take the Staten Island ferry, which is far more direct.

Where do you plan to stay?

In my tent, mostly. Cheap motels once or twice a week. And if any AICR supporters are willing to offer a bed for the night, I’d be delighted – we'll be setting up a map on this website showing my progress, and you’re welcome to call or email.


If you'd like to sponsor me please click here


You can email Phil at

Phil's epic journey caused quite a stir in the USA and in the UK. Here are some news articles that were written about his walk -

Please note - some of these links are only active for a few weeks before they are archived and require a subscription.

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