Hiking North on the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is about 2180 miles long and every year about 2000 people try to thru-hike the trail. This year I will join them, and I will be working to raise awareness for pediatric strokes.
This is a cause that is personal to me as a survivor myself. I had a stroke in utero and have been living this my whole life. My right side is smaller and weaker and I limp when tired, so this will add to the challenge of the hike. I will need to be careful so as not to get too tired or hurt myself.
We didn't talk about my difficulties when I was growing up. All my mother told me was that I was born a month early and that I had a stroke before I was born. She pushed me to use my arm and hand in daily activities and pushed me to get good grades and do well in school. I’ve done well; most people don’t notice or at the very least don’t say anything about my hand. It becomes more obvious the more tired I get, as my hand starts to pull up to my chest and I limp ever so slightly, but the lack of coordination in my hand will give me away on a good day.
Ok, so back to the hike. I am going to hike north from Springer Mountain, Georgia with the goal of getting to Katahdin, Maine before it closes for the season on October 15th. This is ambitious, I know. Only about 1/4th of those who start a thru-hike generally finish. I’m an ambitious person. I got my Bachelors Degree while working full time and taking care of my family (Husband, Son, and pets). I am now pursuing my first of 2 Masters Degrees.
This trip will pull me away from my family and work for about 6 months excluding any visits. I want that time away to have a greater meaning so I am setting up this fundraiser.