When Carden Wyckoff was 9 years old, we found out she had a form of muscular dystrophy known as FSH (facioscapulohumeral). Over the course of the last 14 years, this genetic disorder has been the source of countless physical and mental hardships throughout her life. Just this year, she had to make the difficult personal decision of accepting an electronic scooter to aid her day to day mobility, something she had been fighting against for years. The mental toughness required by Carden and other individuals who have to battle day and night for their physical mobility and mental well-being is not easily matched - it's safe to say that, by default, they have to be tougher for what they're forced to endure.
This 79 mile Georgia Appalachian Trail piggyback hike is a tribute to those who are on that battlefield, fighting each day for their physical and mental well-being. Over the next 9 days, our team, who will each assist in helping carry Carden (115ish lbs) via a custom piggybackpack harness, will be tested both physically and mentally. It will be extremely challenging, we expect that. There will be moments where it just doesn't seem feasible anymore to keep going, we expect that. Our feet will blister up and our back muscles will ache, we fully expect that too. But isn't that just a small taste of what it's like every day for a person with FSH muscular dystrophy? Isn't that the struggle felt by someone living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Even though our journey may seem crazy, out there, and extremely difficult, the truth is that it pales in comparison to the daily hardships of hundreds of thousands of other people living with this terrible disorder. Well from October 22-30, 2016, we are taking a stand against muscular dystrophy and proving that anyone can overcome their perceived limits by pushing past their physical barriers - and we invite you to take that stand with us.
How do we plan to accomplish this? Well first of all, we have to recognize our amazing primary partner Vestigo, who has organized all the logistics for this trek including, but not limited to, our day to day trip itinerary and working with sponsors for our gear, food, and shelter. From the inception of this idea, they made it all happen with an unbelievable level of service and positive energy. We've structured our trip as a series of day hikes, almost always starting and finishing at a road crossing in northern Georgia, making it easy to join us for a single day hike, an evening camp out, or for all 9 days for the like-minded adventure seeker! The plan is wake up each day at the rising sun, fuel up with breakfast, make the hike to our next destination, camp out, sleep with the setting sun, repeat. Our average day hike will be in the neighborhood of 7-10 miles - for more information about the trip visit our Mission Page.
We warmly and enthusiastically welcome anyone to join us for any amount of time on this adventure. We're also realistic (well sort of). So if you'd rather show your support through a donation you can find that option here: http://www.piggybackadventures.com/support
Finally, if you've made it this far, felt the tingle of goosebumps, and are inspired by our mission - you would help us tremendously if you PLEASE SHARE this with your social media network of choice. Our intention is to raise awareness for muscular dystrophy and to inspire others in the process and you just never know what that 1 share might do to motivate someone out there.