Lakewood man who walked 245 miles for survivors visits Seymour Avenue demolition Wednesday
Stephanie Ramirez, newsnet5.com
9:55 PM, Aug 7, 2013
10:02 PM, Aug 7, 2013
CLEVELAND - Dozens of spectators stood by to watch 2207 Seymour Avenue be demolished, including Alex Sheen, the Lakewood man who walked more than 240 miles from Cincinnati to Cleveland for the Seymour survivors.
Admitting the same house made him nervous the day he completed his long journey, "I'm thrilled to see that house destroyed. I mean, everybody in Cleveland thinks of that house as a symbol of hate. It's not who we are," said Sheen.
"But at the same time," he added, "I don't want the destruction of that house to allow us to forget the victims of sexual violence," said Sheen.
Sheen is continuing his promise to bring about awareness to sexual violence, leading the way of fulfilling promises made under his social movement, "because I said I would."
As he looked on at the Seymour demolition, Sheen said his first step was finishing the walk he promised to make and described some of that journey ever since. That, for Sheen, includes the excitement of someone sending him a picture of Gina wearing his "because I said I would" shirt.
"Just to know that they heard about the effort is definitely something that I'll cherish," said Sheen.
But another surprise came just a few days ago, Sheen telling NewsChannel5 he was on his way to pick up his vehicle after leaving it at the bar on Saturday. He then encountered two men doing something all too familiar.
"They're wearing like pedestrian shoes, but they had tents. At first I thought they were homeless so I asked them, ‘Are you guys going somewhere?' This is where the plot twist comes in. They tell me that they're walking across the entire United States to raise awareness about sex trafficking, which kind of blew my mind for obvious reasons," said Sheen.
Sheen said the men were also in town during Ariel Castro's sentencing, one of the men actually attending the hearing, "I empathize really closely with what they were doing and I thought it was just, I don't know, serendipitous that we would see each other randomly, actually in front of the first restaurant I ate at after I finished my walk!"
Sheen said he invited the men to his home, let them take showers, took them out to eat, gave them a few supplies and money to help get them back on their way.
It may have been coincidence, but Sheen said for him, it's a strong reminder of why he started it all.
"It's about the importance of a promise and the commitment to better humanity and that's what the walk was about," said Sheen, also adding nowhere is there a better example of commitment and promise than Michelle, Gina and Amanda's will to survive.