Local Nurse Leads Team to Hike 20.7 Miles in One Day for Children with Cancer

For Immediate Release
Jennifer Murphy
(240) 235-2211 | jennifer.murphy@curesearch.org

Laura Nelson works with pediatric patients by day; in her spare time, she hikes to support children’s cancer research.

Charlottesville, VA – Back in 2012, nurse Laura Nelson was worried that she wouldn’t be able to handle transferring from a rehab unit to a pediatric unit. Despite being a nurse for over 25 years, she had a big fear that working with the pediatric oncology population would be emotionally difficult.

But her fears were swept away as soon as she started, and she immediately fell in love with the young, courageous population.

Inspired by the small superheroes that she works with every day, and fueled by the story of a friend who lost a young cousin to cancer, Nelson decided to do something more. She decided to train and recruit a team for the Ultimate Hike, a 20.7-mile, one day trek to benefit children’s cancer research. The Hike is sponsored by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a nonprofit on a mission to make sure there are better, less toxic treatments available to every child diagnosed with cancer.

“A lot of people ask me how I can hike 20.7 miles in ONE day. Yes, it is a challenge, but I assure you, it is nothing compared to what these kids and their families go through on a daily basis. I am hiking for a CURE.”

The first member to join Nelson’s team was her husband Mike in December 2016. After holding information meetings in the outpatient and inpatient buildings of the University of Virginia’s Children’s Hospital, and talking to people individually, she recruited a team of dedicated members.

Laura NelsonLaura and Mike training for the event.

The team, named Hoos4aCure after the UVA Wahoos, is made up of people who work with kids and families going through cancer treatment or who have been in treatment in the past. They are passionate about reaching their $25,000 goal for one reason: to fund and support children’s cancer research.

Nelson and her team will be joined on the Dolly Sods Wilderness Ultimate Hike by many others who are committed to funding research. “Research is the only answer to find a cure. With the government cutting back on funding for pediatric research, knowing that we can independently raise money for the cause is awesome.”

Laura NelsonFrom left to right: Christina Gutierrez, Allison Rothe, Laura Nelson, Mike Nelson, Colleen Druzgal, Megan Daniel, Jennie Weyant.

People interested in learning more should visit www.ultimatehike.org/dollysods.

In its seventh year, CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike is the original endurance fundraiser on the Dolly Sods Wilderness Trail, and the only endurance hiking fundraiser to fight cancer, the number one disease killer of children.


CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md, works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch is building a $10 million research pipeline to aggressively drive pediatric research grants and clinical trials that have a higher chance of becoming cures for children’s cancer without the toxic side effects that plague current treatment options.

For more information, visit curesearch.org or ultimatehike.org, follow CureSearch on Twitter @curesearch or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/curesearch.

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