Hiking for Brain Injury Awareness

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

Every year, hikers set out on the Appalachian Trail. Many of them have their own personal goals, others just like to be alone. WHSV introduces you to one hiker whose goal is clear.

Devon Struck is taking a short rest in Elkton, one stop on a very long trip. The native of Maryland is attempting to hike the entire 2170 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one season, called a through-hike. If that's not impressive enough, she's doing it for a cause as well: to raise money for brain injury research.

"The owner of small store that I work at in Columbia her daughter, Stephanie Gianfagna, was in a car accident 13 years ago that left her severely brain injured," explains Struck of her interest.

Struck says this hike is for greater awareness of the problems faced by people with brain-injuries and their families.

"One of the problems was that her doctors treat symptoms they don't treat problems because they don't have answers to the problems," says Struck.

Struck's original goal was to raise $22,000. Less than halfway up the trail, she's close to $21,000 so now she's shooting for 50. She says money has come from everywhere, including fellow hikers.

"I have received some funds from other hikers but i haven't been targeting the other hikers," says Struck. "It started out with just the display in the store in Columbia and it really grew from there. People from all over the country have donated."

Several classes of kids from her hometown are following her progress over the Internet. You can do the same by logging onto www dot devonswalk dot org.

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