Posted: February 21, 2017
Written by Brecka Putnam, Senior Regional Manager, Development
Eve Griffith, now age 9, finished her Wilms tumor cancer treatment long before most children are aware that cancer even exists. After chemo, radiation, four surgeries, and five years of clean scans, she was declared cancer free at Duke University in 2015.
Although the cancer is gone, it’s left behind some challenges. Eve’s mother, Christy Griffith, says, “Some late effects have started to make themselves apparent, such as cognitive issues related to her chemo, or pre-cancerous lesions resulting from her radiation treatment.”
It is because of those late effects, and because more cures are needed, that Eve’s entire family continues to fight back against children’s cancer. This year, Christy, her 11-year-old daughter Natalie, and 10-year-old son Daniel will complete the Ultimate Hike – a 28.3-mile trek in one day on the Foothills Trail of South Carolina. Eve will be there too, waking up by 3:00 AM to volunteer at aid stations with dad, Matt (if he doesn’t hike himself), or Grandma Joyce.
This isn’t the first time the family has taken on an Ultimate Hike – Eve has become a fixture at aid stations, passing out her signature pickles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with a healthy dose of inspiration. Natalie and Daniel will each be completing their third Ultimate Hike. It will be Natalie’s longest Hike to date, but Christy has no doubt she’ll succeed.
“When their feet get sore on the trail, Natalie and Daniel will talk about the reason they are hiking – the kids their age that will never be able to join them on the trail because of cancer, and they motivate themselves to see the big picture and keep on trucking.”
For the past seven years, Ultimate Hike has been providing participants with awe-inspiring event weekends, and the chance to help end children’s cancer. Hikers are provided with 12 weeks of training with a veteran Ultimate Hike coach, lodging, expert trail support, and much more. The training is appropriate for all level of hiking experience and fitness.
“The training program got me through not one but eight Hikes so far, and I’ll keep signing up until no other parent has to feel hopeless when they hear the words ‘your child has cancer,'” says Christy.
Christy and other Ultimate Hike volunteers and staff are recruiting the 2017 class of Ultimate Hikers. People interested in joining the Ultimate Hike should go here to learn more about the event.
CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike is the original endurance fundraiser on the Foothills Trail, and the only endurance hiking fundraiser to fight cancer, the number one disease killer of children.
To find a Hike near you, visit ultimatehike.org.
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