Here in North America many of us have the luxury of pursuing extreme outdoor activities that challenge our physical and mental limits for nothing other than sport. I am among the many who love to walk for the simple pleasure it brings, and especially love the challenge of testing my physical limits through extreme hiking. When I learned that in Niger, West Africa, thousands of women and young girls have to walk 4-6 miles every day in search of water for survival, I knew I had to make a difference. What if a walk could make that difference? Not just any walk, but a hike that was as extreme as the lengths thousands of women and girls face every day in Niger. As I sat and planned my walk, the dedication to the women of Niger grew. This is where my walk for hope was born!
This 93 mile, strenuous Wonderland Trail around the circumference of Mount Rainier has a 22,000 feet elevation gain. It is a strenuous hike with lots of elevation through lowland forests and valleys, and into high alpine and sub-alpine areas. The average person takes 10-11 days to complete this trail. My goal is to complete this trek in 8 days. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the miles women of Niger walk.
In August of 2014, I climbed a large portion to near the top of Mount Rainier in the state of Washington. From that point on, I was hooked to the notion that one can push his or her body past physical limitations or boundaries when needed. After a long line of experiences in outdoor hiking and exploring, I knew it was time to attempt a more extreme hike and I set my sights on the Wonderland Trail. Hiking is a spiritual and physical necessity for me in the same ways water is for the people of Niger.
Wells Bring Hope could not be a better cause to carry with me on my symbolic journey. Thousands of women and girls in Niger spend hours walking to the closest water source, sometimes taking multiple trips a day, just to provide water for their families. This water is often riddled with disease resulting in illness, and sometimes death. Young girls are forced to leave school at a young age in order to help their families in the walk for water, something we possess within the time it takes to walk to our kitchen sink and turn on the faucet. The parallels between these women's walk and my walk is nothing less than striking.
I will be walking and testing every physical aspect of my body, in attempt to cleanse my soul and bring life and awareness to the lives of these women and girls. Wells Bring Hope's fund raising efforts not only provides safe water wells in the poorest country of the world, but also empowers women and young girls. Safe water means the women can learn new skills while caring for their families, and young girls can get the education they deserve. Their story is bigger than mine, but my voice may be louder than theirs.
Help me support Wells Bring Hope and the many lives they change!
My goal is to raise $8,000.
My goal is broken down into two parts:
Please be sure to follow my blog about my hiking preparations!
Also, follow me on Social Media for updates and news:
Thank you for your support!
|Barney and Bonnie Hellenbrand||12/18/2015||$50.00||Brown Paper Tickets||08/05/2015||$210.00||Maryam Schils||08/04/2015||$100.00||You are an amazing person. Good luck on your journey.||Christopher Gehrman||07/30/2015||$150.00||Ann Fairclough||07/29/2015||$100.00||Cassie, Hi! I wanted to donate to your walk for such a wonderful cause as Wells Bring Hope's--with your extreme trek on the Wonderland Trail. You will be tested and you will succeed. Remember to take in the vistas! I believe in you. You will be in my thoughts each day of this glorious adventure of a lifetime to benefit those half a word away! Always, Ann Fairclough||Joseph Lushi||07/29/2015||$20.00||Hey Cassie, I'm sorry I couldn't be there at the party tonight, work isn't letting me out. However, I wanted to donate something for this journey you're about to take on. It's not much, but something to help this great cause. Cheering for you always, Joseph||Cassie Supporters||07/29/2015||$1,050.00||Linda Minor||07/24/2015||$60.00||Sam and Sara Jackson||07/19/2015||$100.00||Colleen Rau||07/05/2015||$20.00||You got this girl! So proud of you!||Katie Collins||06/26/2015||$60.00||Sharyna d Mike Obsatz||06/25/2015||$60.00||Barney and Bonnie Hellenbrand||06/18/2015||$60.00||Janice Ballard||06/15/2015||$30.00||We are cheering for you. Love Bambi and Papa||Cindy Templeton||05/11/2015||$100.00||Good Luck Cassie!||Kathryn Krick||05/11/2015||$40.00||So proud of you girl!! you are an inspiration! The future is insanely bright. Can't wait to see how this journey unfolds. It's going to be beyond what you can imagine!! Love you! So proud to be your roommate and friend!! <3||Ryan Ballard||05/08/2015||$42.00||Samantha Ball||04/22/2015||$60.00||Rosemary and Andrew Schneider||03/29/2015||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||03/20/2015||$20.00||Curtis Fortier||03/17/2015||$50.00||All the best Cassie!||Timothy Harris||03/17/2015||$50.00||Anonymous Friend||03/16/2015||$10.00||Megan Helbing||03/16/2015||$30.00|