Eddy Murphy via Crowdrise
November 27, 2012
EVENT DATE: Jul 15, 2013
My name is Eddy Murphy and I am an avid backpacker. I am also a type 1 diabetic. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 is a chronic condition that cannot be reversed with an adequate amount of exercise and a healthy diet. Only 1 percent of diabetics in America have type 1 diabetes. It is usually diagnosed before age 25, meaning many of them are children. They will have to struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Its long term complications can have an effect on every part of the body, except the nose (just recently it was discovered that poor glucose control can have an impact on hearing). Basically, a type 1 diabetic is diagnosed after their immune system has an adverse reaction to something as common as the flu. The immune system attacks the pancreas in the process of trying to knock off the invading ailment, in turn rendering it useless. This vital organ is what produces insulin, the hormone that allows glucose (or sugar) into the body's cells to provide fuel for everything from thinking to hiking. If not treated with synthetic insulin as soon as possible, a diabetic can go into a coma, or die. And, as mentioned earlier, if one doesn't take the necessary precautions in managing their blood sugar levels, it can wreak havoc on the body over the long term. I have been type 1 diabetic for ten years now, and I have definitely struggled with it. However, hiking has been a way for me to simultaneously enjoy the wonders of nature and blood sugar control. Therefore, I want to hike the 1200-mile Pacific Northwest trail to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes and at the same time show type 1 diabetics that, despite this condition, anything is possible.
The Pacific Northwest Trail is a 1200-mile footpath that extends from Glacier National Park in northwest Montana to the Wilderness Coast of Olympic National Park in Washington state. It traverses some of the most rugged and remote terrain in the lower 48. The trail has not been completed yet, and will require bushwhacking and route finding. For the most part the Pacific Northwest Trail is still under the radar and has not gained nearly as much attention as some of the more famous long-distance trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. It has also been touted as having the best scenery out of all the long-distance trails in the US. Solitude and scenery: doesn't sound like it can get much better than that. Here is a link to the trail's website: http://www.pnt.org/
My goal is to hike the entire stretch of the Pacific Northwest Trail in less than three months. Instead of busting out 20-mile days, I want to take my time and hike 14-15 miles a day. The tentative start date is July 15, enabling me to avoid most of the snowpack in the higher elevations and the bird-sized mosquitoes in the lower elevations. I would like to finish the trail around the first week of October before the autumn rains begin to fall on the Olympic Peninsula. The general rule for most long-distance hikers (or thru-hikers) is that one must invest $1.50 per mile in order to successfully complete a trip with a minimal amount of money remaining to morph back into 'real life'. My goal is to raise $3500. This money would cover the cost of food, an occasional shower, shoe replacements, minor gear repairs, and my diabetes medications. I plan to pay for my travel expenses myself. Any surplus will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to assist in their search for the cure.
Any donation that you can make would be appreciated. Part of the reason I haven't yet thru-hiked is because of the enormous sum of dollars it costs to medicate myself every month (between $300-400). However, with donations from a large number of friends, this number will shrink, and perhaps I can realize my dream of giving hope to others. I want to thank everyone who visits this page, taking the time to consider my long walk for the sake of diabetics everywhere! If you would like to help me reach my goal of $3500, please don't hesitate to donate!