Lancaster County native takes cross country journey for childhood cancer awareness

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LANCASTER, Pa. --- If you drove between the York Fairgrounds and Lancaster General Hospital on Wednesday, you may have spotted Kevin Fern.

Fern, 50, from Ephrata, walks with a reflector vest on and a strobe light attached to an IV (Intravenous Therapy) pole.

He's been walking 25 miles a day, taking a day or two off in between, for 122 days, a little over four months.

Pennsylvania is the eleventh state he's walking through.

"I have some of my life left. Lets do something with it," said Fern.

At the age of 17, Fern said he was diagnosed with cancer: Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

After undergoing several years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Lancaster General Hospital in the 1980s, Fern has been cancer-free for 30 years.

On March 25, Fern started walking from Manhattan Beach, California.

Roughly 2,500 miles later, Fern was in central Pennsylvania Wednesday.

The IV pole by his side represents the burden it caused him while he battled cancer and the burden it's causing children fighting cancer today.

"It's heavy. It doesn't roll great. You can't push it everywhere," said Fern.

The IV pole carries wristbands with names written on them.

They are the names of children who Kevin has met along the way who are currently fighting cancer or lost their battle.

For Fern, he said "Kevin's IV Pole" is more than just the story of one man walking.

"It is translated to the kids here. It's translated to these families, the community of these families that have come together on Facebook and that I've met along the road, knowing that...they're part of a team and they've got someone that's carrying the ball for them, so to speak," said Fern.

Fern's journey ends in nearly 400 more miles at the Dana Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorder Center in Massachusetts, which will be his fifteenth state.

He believes he'll get there around November 4 or 5.

There Fern said he will let go of his IV pole and read the names of the more than 300 children he's carried along the way.

Part of Kevin's mission is to raise awareness to camps for children with cancer.

Fern said they played a huge role in his recovery.

He recommended visiting Children's Oncology Camping Association, International for more information on camps and donations.

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