Trailblaze Challenge – Make-A-Wish Foundation

By: Janet Hunt
I have taken a fitness challenge – The Trailblaze Challenge. I have signed up to hike 26.3 miles on a Saturday in May on the Pinhoti Trail in Talladega National Forest. Not only do I have to hike 26.3 miles in one day, I need to have sponsors to make donations to the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.

What is Make a Wish® Foundation? Make-A-Wish® Foundation is a non-profit organization with a vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines a critical illness as a “disease or state in which death is possible or imminent.”

The wishes granted are more than just a nice thing. They impact everyone involved – wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals, and communities. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments. Parents might finally feel like they can be optimistic. And still others might realize all they have to offer the world through volunteer work or philanthropy. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.
I first heard of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation on the nightly news. Periodically they have a “feel good story” that includes a Make-A-Wish® Foundation story. These always bring a tear to my eye partly because they are wonderful and partly because it makes me realize how very lucky I am.

I signed up for the Trailblaze Challenge on Friday evening at an information meeting in Huntsville. I had heard about this through a friend and on WLRH public radio. At the meeting, we, of course, heard all about the challenge and the Make-A-Wish® Foundation; but then, a young lady came in and spoke about her experience. She was a recipient of a wish, and her wish was a service dog which she had with her. The dog was not only her companion, but was trained to notice changes in her blood sugar, because one of the many symptoms of her illnesses is that her body cannot regulate her blood sugar.

Along with my physical hiking challenge, I invite the readers to support me by making a donation to the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Donations are appreciated in any amount. For more information on the Challenge go to or visit 2018 Alabama Trailblaze Challenge on Facebook. If you would like to make a donation, please contact me at 256-614-3530 or You can also make a donation online at Select ‘Support a Hiker’ on the left, enter my name, and select ‘GIVE NOW’ on the right.

I will give you regular updates until the Challenge. Thank you for supporting the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. All donations are welcome!
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.