Jessica Wall trains for the Trailblaze Challenge to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. – Photos courtesy of Jessica Wall
Jessica Wall prepares for a 28.3-mile hike along with raising $2,500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. – Photos courtesy of Jessica Wall
A local woman is taking up a big challenge and all for a good cause. Jessica Wall of East Bend will be completing a nearly 30-mile hike as part of a unique fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation called the Trailblaze Challenge.
On June 1, Wall will hike 28.3 miles on the Foothills Trail in Cashiers. She said she has always enjoyed taking on physical challenges, and when she first saw the Make-A-Wish hike fundraiser last year, she decided to learn more.
“I like trying new things and pushing myself, and when I learned that I could do that and give back to my community, I was totally hooked,” Wall said.
Wall is no stranger to physical challenges, she trained and ran a half marathon in January 2018.
“I am a lot more confident in my ability to hike than run,” Wall said. “My husband and I have done some small-scale day-hiking, so the distance is really the new challenge.
“The folks at Make-A-Wish have been so supportive,” she said. “Each week we get a training newsletter with tips and suggestions on how to get prepared. They also provided a training schedule like small hikes and cross-training. They are also hosting training hikes every other weekend that grow in length as we get closer to the day of the hike.”
In addition to the lengthy hike, which will be completed in just one day, Wall also will be raising $2,500 for Make-A-Wish.
“Honestly, I was first attracted to the physical challenge and the philanthropy came second. But I am learning more and more about the Make-A-Wish agency as I am moving forward in this journey, and I am continually moved,” Wall said. “I can only imagine what these children are facing, and their families. There are so many awesome stories of children receiving their wish and I’m even learning about friends who have been touched by Make-A-Wish! And research has proven that receiving a wish has a positive long term effect on the child as they face they critical illness. It’s an awesome feeling.”
Wall and others taking part in the challenge will begin at the trail head on June 1 at around 5 a.m.
“I’m hoping to finish my hike in 12 to 13 hours. There are a lot of people that sign up to do the challenge, so there will be plenty of people on the trail with me,” she said.
The funds raised will benefit Make-A-Wish of Northwest North Carolina and funds raised will benefit children in this region.
To learn more about Wall’s journey, visit http://site.wish.org/goto/jessicawall or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are tax deductible and the donor will be emailed a receipt.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.
Jessica Wall trains for the Trailblaze Challenge to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Jessica Wall prepares for a 28.3-mile hike along with raising $2,500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.