COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 1, 2017, a Beaufort city husband and wife team comprised of Bernie and April Hester begin the journey of a lifetime as they embark on a five hundred mile hike on South Carolina's Palmetto Trail in their fundraising efforts for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Traversing over mountains, trails, cities and roadways, April, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), is hoping that her efforts dubbed the "Finish MS Hike" will bring much-needed awareness to multiple sclerosis and that their goal of raising $100,000 dollars can help and inspire others afflicted with this incurable disease.
It's important to note that April is not alone. Hers is just one of the approximately 200 new cases of multiple sclerosis diagnosed each week, contributing to the more than 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people around the world living with this disabling neurological condition. While most individuals are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, multiple sclerosis can be developed at any age.
According to Suzette Anderson of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), although thousands of individuals hike the Palmetto Trail each year, very few attempt to thru-hike the trail. This valiant effort combined with the debilitating physical effects of multiple sclerosis are a few reasons why April and her husband Bernie have been recognized as Trail Ambassadors by the PCF.
"Bernie and April are an inspiration as they tackle a thru-hike while raising critical awareness for MS. Their personal story will inspire others facing life challenges and is a story of overcoming obstacles," stated Natalie Cappuccio Britt, Executive Director for PCF. "A thru-hike is always an incredible adventure and is no easy feat. We wish April and Bernie all the best as they take on this new adventure and encourage others to get outside and take a few steps with them for such an important cause."
For those interested, the couple is encouraging others to donate to their cause and follow them on their adventure. They have established a website www.trailjournals.com/OurPTAdventure and an Instagram @Mule_Inchworm that will allow people to read about their journey and gain insight as they face and conquer challenges. In fact, the couple has already begun providing entries to keep their audience informed.
"While hiking 500 miles would be a challenge for anyone, April will face many physical challenges throughout because MS affects the central nervous system. To complete this will be such an accomplishment and without a doubt, shows the fighter in April and what an inspiration she is, especially to those living with MS," said Carly Arnold, Coordinator of Fundraising Support for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
She continued, "The fundraising efforts by April and Bernie are incredibly appreciated because every dollar raised will help accelerate breakthroughs that will change lives and end MS forever. Fundraising dollars go toward research for a cure, treatment, therapies, support and resources for those living with MS, and will help those living with MS live their best lives."
To learn more about April and Bernie Hester's journey or to donate to this worthwhile cause, please visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/OurPTAdventure.
About The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. The Society has invested $54 million to advance more than 380 research projects around the world. Through its comprehensive nation-wide network of services, the Society also invested $122.2 million to help more than one million individuals affected by MS connect to the people, information and resources needed to live their best lives. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Learn more at: www.nationalMSsociety.org.
About The Palmetto Conservation Foundation
The mission of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) is to conserve South Carolina's natural and cultural resources, preserve historic landmarks, and promote outdoor recreation through trails and greenways. Founded in 1989, PCF is a statewide nonprofit organization with offices in Columbia and Glendale in Spartanburg County. PCF's best-known project is the mountains-to-sea Palmetto Trail. With about 360 Trail miles completed and another 140 planned, the Palmetto Trail is the state's longest hiking-biking trail and largest trail construction project. Supporting Trail use is the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, a PCF program. GOLS teaches courses in wilderness medicine (certified first aid and first responder) and active recreational sports, including rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. To learn more about PCF, the Palmetto Trail and GOLS, visit www.palmettoconservation.org or call 803-771-0870.
SOURCE Bernie Hester