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Hike For Discovery 2007 - Participant Survey
The 2007 Maryland Chapter Hike for Discovery participants were asked a few questions about their experience. The responses really show what the program means to all who participate and will hopefully help motivate future team members reach their goals.
Why did you participate and did you get what you expected out of the program?
I participated in the Hike for Discovery for several reasons. I had heard about the Team in Training program, but hiking is more up my alley. When I heard about Hike for Discovery I thought "this program is made for me". I have always loved the outdoors, and I wanted to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I have two reasons for helping LLS. My dad died of multiple myeloma in August 2005. The LLS provided information for my family at the time of his diagnosis and I know they have other patient-care programs we were not in need of. Moreover, I don't want any family to suffer what we went through. I think the money we raise for the LLS will ultimately help in finding treatments and hopefully a cure for these blood cancers. That comes to my second reason. I am a graduate student at Johns Hopkins and I work in a leukemia research lab. I know that LLS funds research grants and how much those help real people studying these diseases. I know the money really gets used.
I most definitely got what I expected out the program and more. I met a bunch of new people, had a great time hiking, and I raised money for a cause I truly believe in.
What was your favorite training hike and why?
Hmmm, that's hard. For some reason Catoctin Mountain sticks in my mind. We were coming together as a group by then and having a lot of fun together. Also it was one of the first more technical trails we hiked. Cunningham Falls was pretty, and it's nice to hike toward something.
What was your favorite hiking trail (not including the Grand Canyon)?
I liked Sugarloaf Mountain. It's a fun, pretty technical trail with some good views. There aren't that many places in Maryland to try your climbing legs!
What was your most memorable experience (not including the Grand Canyon trip)?
While I can't think of any particular moments, all of the training hikes meld together as one great time! I liked sharing the trail with different people, hearing why they were there and becoming friends.
What was your most memorable experience at the Grand Canyon?
When I finished the hike. I was overwhelmed with emotion--it really is incredible what we accomplished. My hiking group was there with me, we hugged, we laughed, we relived the hike. It was amazing. And we were standing at the top of one of the most unbelievable natural wonders in the world, having just gone in and come out of it. Wow.
What was the first thought that popped into your head when you saw the canyon?
Everyone who'd seen it had told me the Grand Canyon was unbelievably beautiful, as in you can't really believe it even when looking at it. It's true! It's so immense and amazing, and it looks like a fake backdrop. That's what I remember thinking about.
What worked best for you with fundraising?
Almost all my money came from friends and family. I emailed my personal story to EVERYONE I knew, and some of them even forwarded it on. I also took Lauren's advice and sent the "gimme five" email to my brother to email to his friends and got a few more unexpected donations. Definitely email everyone and follow up with the people who haven't responded--a lot of people get busy and forget, even though they mean to contribute.
What worked worst for you with fundraising?
What would you do differently with fundraising if you could do it again?
How often did you hike before joining Hike for Discovery?
Only occasionally and nothing too long.
Will you continue to hike now that the program is over?
Absolutely and I hope to hike with the Hike for Discovery group!