Hemby's Heroes Take on Ultimate Hike

Nicole McKendree, Jessie Rogers, Montesha Evans, and Phelecia Wells are all nurses in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit at Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC.  Used to working together day-in and day-out to care for children with cancer, the four friends and colleagues created a team, Hemby's Heroes, and have embarked on the adventure of a lifetime - to hike 28.3 miles along the Foothills Trail in upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina while raising funds for children's cancer research.  Part of CureSearch for Children's Cancer's annual Ultimate Hike event, the foursome will be among 75 hikers from Asheville and Charlotte, NC participating in the day-long trek on May 19, 2012. 

Together, the 75 participants have already raised more than $118,000 and the four Hemby's Heroes are part of that success! Their secret? Employing multiple strategies to raise money. Hemby's Heroes are raising funds through Caring Bridge pages, a hospital bake sale, raffles whose ticket sales benefitted their Ultimate Hike team, and receiving a percentage of sales for the day from local restaurant Nothing but Noodles. The Caring Bridge webpages, which chronicle a child's cancer journey, were a great tool for parents to spread the word and get friends and family involved raising funds for the nurses treating their children. Team member Nicole McKendree summed up the team's efforts saying, "we blazed through the fundraising portion of the Hike! In the beginning the $10,000 goal was more intimidating than the mileage! We had so many people jump on board with supporting us, by donating their time for bake sales and organizing t-shirt sales, and raffles, and just by going online and giving monetary donations that it was overwhelming." As of March 29, the team has already raised over $13,500.

When asked what motivates the Hemby's Heroes to participate in training sessions and eventually the weekend adventure and 28.3 day-long hike, team member Jessie commented, "I can't cure the cancer that riddles their little bodies and I can't prevent any parents from ever hearing the words ‘your child has cancer,' or ‘there's nothing else we can do.' But I can raise money that hopefully will lead to better cure rates and less harsh treatments. I know that hiking 28 miles is nothing compared to what these kids go through every day. So I'm hiking because it feels like I'm doing something to help."

To learn more about the Ultimate Hike - Charlotte, click here. To find a Hike near you visit UltimateHike.org.

Christine Bork
Email Christine
(800) 458-6223

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