KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On June 28, a team of hikers from Knoxville will meet up with other adventurers from across the southeast to hike 28.3 miles of the Foothills Trail in just one day. Starting at around 3:30 in the morning, the group will hope to finish by sunset, and will spend 8-15 hours on the trail — all to raise much needed funds and awareness for children’s cancer research.
“Forty-two children are diagnosed with cancer each day, and while the overall cure rate has improved dramatically over the past 40 years, one in eight children still lose their battle within five years. Of the children that survive, 60 percent will face devastating, lifelong side effects like heart disease, loss of limb, and secondary cancers,” said Brecka Putnam, Ultimate Hike manager for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.
The Ultimate Hikers’ journeys will start long before June 28, with a local training program to ensure they are well prepared for the event. Uncle Lem’s Mountain Outfitters has been supporting the program since it first came to Knoxville, and CureSearch is once again partnering with Uncle Lem’s to ensure the hikers are connected to local hiking experts and receive excellent instruction and support as they prepare for their big day.
Organizers are hoping that this year’s event has record participation. In years past the Ultimate Hike as conflicted with football season but in accordance with the requests of our local partner we have moved to the spring. Uncle Lem’s challenges 50 Knoxvillians to take on this extraordinary opportunity that with that number of hikers would raise in one day a minimum of $125,000 for pediatric cancer research.
“We are so thankful for our Ultimate Hikers and community partners for stepping up to the challenge and ensuring that one day every child diagnosed with cancer will grow up to take part in a lifetime of adventures. The more people that join us on the trail, the faster we can fund research critical to finding the cure,” said Putnam.
For more information or to get involved with the Ultimate Hike Program, visit www.UltimateHike.org/Foothills or contact UltimateHike@CureSearch.org.