I was diagnosed with ALS in October 2016. This news was a terrible shock to me, my wife Eileen and our two boys, Henry and Philip. I don’t want one more family to have to go through what we are experiencing, and what so many others have before us. I want to do something to make a difference and to contribute to ending this horrific disease while I still can.
Beginning June 17th I will be hiking the final 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail — from Massachusetts to Maine — over eight weeks to raise awareness and funding for a cure for ALS. 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 came up with this plan last fall shortly after I was diagnosed. Since then, ALS has affected my speech, swallowing, the left side of my body, my neck muscles and my balance, so it will definitely be a challenge. However, I have climbed all the highest peaks in New England, so I know what to expect and I have good friends accompanying me.
A year ago I could probably have hiked the entire AT from Georgia to Maine. Now I will do the best I can to complete the most difficut portion of the trail. I am so grateful to those who will be joining me for portions of the hike and those who will be helping with logistics, and especially to Bank of America for granting me a leave of absence to achieve this goal.
There is currently no treatment or cure for ALS, but there is a lot of new, promising research and clinical trials. ALS ONE is partnering with Mass General Hospital, UMass Memorial, ALSTDI, and Compassionate Care ALS to find a treatment or cure by 2020 and support people living with ALS now. My goal is to raise $50,000* for ALS ONE. Please share my website with others, and consider donating to ALS ONE to support my hike and search for a cure. Thank you!
(*update: as of July 25, donations are over $110,000. I am overwhelmed by the generosity and empathy of so many of you — from close friends to people I will never even meet. Together we will make ALS history!)