First blog post

My first day of the Epic Hike will be on Saturday, June 17th, and I promise to do the best I can do on the Appalachian Trail (AT).  I have been a hiker for many years, and that is why I am choosing to hike to raise awareness for ALS and funds for ALS research.  I intend to write a blog every day, or as often as I can so you can stay up to date on how I am doing.

ALS has affected my speech, swallowing, the left side of my body, and my balance, so I am unsure how I will do on all 600 miles of the AT from Mt. Greylock in MA to Mt. Katadhin in ME.  I have climbed all the highest peaks in New England, so I know what to expect and I have good friends accompanying me to hike.

My goal is to raise $50,000 for ALS ONE, so please share my website with others.  My employer, Bank of America, has given me 8 weeks of paid leave to complete the hike.  I want to thank Bank of America for all they have done for me.

Rick Marks

17 thoughts on “First blog post

  1. Leslie Aitken

    I know you will do the best you can. And as a daughter whose mother had ALS, I am happy to contribute to rid you and everyone from this horrible disease!


  2. Joan Papaleo

    Hello. So wonderful to hear your message today on John’s call. I wish you the best of luck on your hike and can’t wait to read about your experience.



  3. Linda Daniel

    Rick, this is awesome; YOU are awesome. I’m really impressed that you are doing this and wish you all the best in accomplishing your goal. I’ve forwarded this to the Hancock family and to my son and daughter-in-law who are both hikers/mountain climbers and they are all impressed and pulling for you. God’s speed and blessings, Linda Daniel


  4. cleta and Dale Bradley

    Rick, we in Lubbock, Texas will be following you on your hike. We so admire your determination , as well as your willingness to participate in this hike. We are praying for you.


  5. D.mclean

    I met one of your hiking buddies at REI today and he told me about your inspirational story. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure on the AT. Praying for your safety and success. I plan on giving $ and sharing your site with my other hiking friends!
    Have fun and enjoy your time in nature.
    D. McLean.


  6. Jo Devlin

    Rick & Eileen- I just saw the piece on WCVB. I SO admire what you are doing and wish you well. I’ll be following you and supporting your incredible efforts all the way. Good luck and God be with you.


  7. Susan

    Best wishes to you and hold those memories of the AT in your mind when your legs don’t want to cooperate any more. My daughter was a thru hiker 4/2016-8/2016, raising money for Suicide Prevention and Mental Illness. There is so much love and support on the AT and I am sure you will encounter it. I am making my donation today in honor of you as you begin your hike to Katahdin!


  8. Peggy and Jack Roll

    Hi Rick. We will be thinking of you and reading of your progress over the next few weeks. We admire your courage and pray for you to accomplish your goals. We send much love, Peggy and Jack


  9. Sis

    Prayers, encouragement, my 49 yr. old son lost his life recently to ALS. He fought over a year, misdiagnosed, continue your hike of awareness. He had done the “Ice Bucket” challenge prior to his diagnosed.


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