CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three Charlotte area fathers are getting ready for an intense hike to help grant wishes for local kids.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation will welcome hundreds of hikers to the Appalachian mountains next month.
This light walk through Reedy Creek Park is nothing compared to what these three dads will face in a couple weeks.
“The trails are pretty extreme, uphill downhill," Scott Goodman said.
Goodman, Carlos Rios and John Bolton are preparing for a 28-mile hike called the Trailblaze Challenge that benefits Make-A-Wish.
The three men have a special connection to the organization.
Goodman volunteers as a wish granter.
"I've been blessed to have some incredible kids and families that I've stayed close with," Goodman said.
He helped grant wish trips for both Rios and Bolton’s children.
Rios' daughter, Sara, was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and said her wish to be on a seven-day cruise brought happiness during a time of difficult treatments and hospital visits.
"It sets up an expectation of something good, something great, something special," Rios said.
Bolton’s son and daughter both have spinal muscular atrophy. His son's wish is to coach the Carolina Panthers while his daughter’s wish is to have a New York City shopping spree.
"They get a break from the real challenge of their illness and a lot of joy,” Bolton said. “They have a lot of joy. You saw it with Jack and Eleanor (son and daughter) were the same way."
This will be Bolton’s first Trailglaze Challenge, but the other two fathers have made the trek along the Appalachian foothills trail.
"You're thinking of the challenges the kids are facing,” Goodman said. “I kept telling Carlos, ‘Your knees might be in pain right now but it's nothing compared to what they go through.’"
They hope to inspire others with every step they take.
"There is nothing more rewarding than doing this for a child," Rios said.
For more info on the Trailblaze Challenge, click here
2015 Registration Dates:
- Fall 2015: Oct. 10, and Oct. 17
- Spring 2015: May 9 and May 30
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