First in a series of shout outs to my awesome sponsors!
Brian and I decided to take advantage of a Groupon deal for the San Diego Travel Show 2016. We knew the expo would be filled with sales booths featuring exciting vacation packages to exotic destinations, but we really didn’t know if I would be able to promote my seven marathon adventure. Boy, were we wrong!
Two very friendly gentlemen were manning the AirMed International table. I introduced myself to Brandon Bates and Josh Decker. I told them about my adventure and Josh enthusiastically jumped right in, pointed directly at me, and said, “I want to cover you and I’m going to write about you!” What? Wow! Josh explained AirMed is an international leader in air medical transport. They offer medical care and bedside-to-bedside transportation on a worldwide basis. He said the crew consists of medical experts (doctors and nurses) and the state-of-the-art medical jets are fully equipped to transport patients comfortably.
AirMed has donated medical emergency evacuation to both me and Brian for all seven of the countries. As a person with MS, pushing myself to such an extent, I am relieved to have AirMed on my side! I don’t anticipate anything happening to me or Brian, but membership to AirMed really does give me peace of mind.
Josh also came through with a nice blog post about me: https://airmed.com/Blog/April-2016/AirMed-Volunteers-Air-Ambulance-Service
At the XCom Global booth, Brian and I stood back and observed the energetic Olivia Martinez. She was really working the small crowd around her and we were drawn to her even though we didn’t know anything about her product. I was able to get Olivia’s attention and told her my story. She was excited to connect me to her company. We learned USA Today ranks XCom Global’s mobile wifi the #1 gift for jet setters. And that is what we will temporarily be…. jet setters! With XCom Global we will be able to post about our trips easily as we travel the world, not needing to rely on spotty wifi in hotel lobbies.
XCom Global is a local company, so I was able to visit their office and meet the staff. Katherine Igoe organized a very cool promotional sale on my behalf: 7% off membership and 7% to the MS Society! Also, a very huge bonus is XCom Global will be lending us travel wifi devices for all seven trips! Yay!
We also had the pleasure of meeting travel writers and publishers Brian and Rita Teeter. They are a dynamic couple who truly live by their Healthy Trekking Travel Guidebooks. Sometimes you wonder if the people writing about healthy living are really licking doughnut dust off their fingers as they type! Brian and Rita are the real deal. Brian interviewed me and wrote a nice article about my adventure on their blog: http://www.healthytrekking.com/new-blog/2016/3/8/cheryl-hile
We were lucky! Three great connections were made that day at the San Diego Travel Show. It was also my first time promoting the adventure. It felt awkward because I don’t like talking about myself to strangers, but it was a good learning experience. Since then, I have been able to walk up to booths at race expos, local fairs and even visiting vendors at Costco (that’s the next story!) without hesitation. I do manage to generate interest with the sales representatives, but most of the time the CEO declines. It is tough and fundraising takes a great deal of time and effort. However, I keep trying! That is my motto: I do what I can and never give up!