175 miles in seven days – hiker treks across the country for kids with cancer

Ryan Sickler is going the extra mile to tell children’s cancer to “take a hike” by taking on all seven 2022 CureSearch Ultimate Hikes to raise funds and awareness for better childhood cancer treatments.  

The CureSearch Ultimate Hike is the nation’s only endurance event dedicated to childhood cancer. Hikes take place throughout the year on some of the country’s most beautiful trails in Texas, the Carolinas, Virginia, California, Minnesota and Arkansas.   

In 2019, Ryan laced up his boots for his first Ultimate Hike and took on the Foothills Trail in North and South Carolina. As a lover of hiking, and someone who has always supported childhood cancer organizations, the CureSearch Ultimate Hike was a perfect fit. 

“My friend sprained her ankle the weekend before the hike, so I filled in for her at the last minute,” said Ryan. “Once I learned of a way to marry up my love of hiking with a cause I already support, it was a no-brainer to continue to support CureSearch.” 

Ryan lost his father to Parkinson’s in 2021, and there was a strong possibility that he also had colorectal cancer. While at his father’s bedside, Ryan thought of all of the parents who have gone through the same with their children. 

“As a father of three, it is impossible for me to even think of that pain,” he said. “Instead of just donating more, I decided I would dedicate 2022 to CureSearch. I knew hiking all seven was going to be a challenge that took time, effort and fundraising, but that challenge is nothing compared to the challenges these children and parents are facing.” 

Ryan hopes that by joining others in fundraising and advocating for childhood cancer research, every child with cancer will have a chance to live a long, healthy life. 

“With all of the scientific advancements that mankind is making in all different areas, there is no reason childhood cancer research shouldn’t be near the top of the list in research,” said Ryan. “If I can help even a small bit in making a difference, then my 2022 mission is completely worth it.” 

Ryan has raised nearly $10,000 through the Ultimate Hike program. To learn more about participating in an Ultimate Hike or creating your own hiking adventure, visit ultimatehike.org.  

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