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Mom Hikes 21 Miles in One Day to Honor Her Son’s Battle with Cancer

Posted: February 3, 2017

For Immediate Release
Jennifer Murphy
Regional Manager, Development
(240) 235-2211 |

Pittsburgh, PA – Wesley Zablocki was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, when he was just eight years old. After a chance fall and lucky x-ray, the cancer was discovered and Wesley was immediately thrust into the world of hospitals, doctors and the unknown. His parents, Ted and Nikki Zablocki, from Butler, PA, had no idea what to expect with the treatments, how he would react or what they would do to their otherwise healthy son.

Wesley ZablockiWesley Zablocki

After several surgeries, chemotherapy and participation in a clinical trial, Wesley succumbed to the cancer at age 11. Ted and Nikki were devastated. Nikki said, “Wesley spent four years in hospitals, with doctors, doing physical therapy, living with cancer. He lived life to its fullest. He was never beat down. He took his punches and punched back. When he passed away on March 3, 2015, we weren’t ready for it. Can you ever be ready to lose your child?”

As an outlet for their frustration, fear, and stress while Wesley was in treatment, the Zablocki family started hiking. Nikki formed Wesley’s Warriors, a team that participates in the Ultimate Hike – a day long, 21-mile hike on the Dolly Sods Trail – sponsored by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. In 2015 the Wesley’s Warriors team set records by raising over $56,000 for children’s cancer research.

“We hope that someday no other parent will have to be where we are. That is why we hike. We miss our son every day.”

Wesley's WarriorsWesley’s Warriors finish the Ultimate Hike

People interested in joining Nikki Zablocki and the Wesley’s Warriors team on the Ultimate Hike should visit to learn more about the event. Information sessions will be held on Tuesday, February 21 at 7:00 PM, REI Southside, 412 S 27th St., Pittsburgh, and again on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00 PM, REI Settlers Ridge, 600 Settlers Ridge Center Drive Pittsburgh.

Ultimate Hike has been providing participants with awe-inspiring event weekends and the opportunity to help children with cancer. Hikers are provided with 12 weeks of training with a coach, lodging, expert trail support, and much more. The training is appropriate for all level of hiking experience and fitness.


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, follow CureSearch on Twitter @curesearch or join the conversation on Facebook at

Mom Hikes 21 Miles in One Day to Honor Her Son’s Battle with Cancer was last modified: March 7th, 2017 by Geoff Duncan

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