MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – Make-A-Wish Oregon hosted its first ever Trailblaze Challenge Friday at Silver Falls State Park, hosting a 26-mile hike and raising tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.
The fundraising event raised money to support the 267 kids with living with critical illnesses in Oregon who are waiting for their wishes to come true.
Micah Snell, a participant in the challenge Friday, was born two months early with a genetic mutation that affects his development. His parents, Jeff and Suzi, say they have always worked hard to give him the same opportunities every other child has, and they learned early on that he loves to be outside.
“We started running when Micah was two and there was a marathon coming up that I was going to run in and I asked Suzie, what do you think if Micah was in it?” Jeff said, in a Make-A-Wish Oregon video. “So, we did that first one just kind of as an experiment and just to be out on a Sunday, and he loved it.”
Together, they have finished 30 marathons, a mission that turned into a campaign known as Micah’s Miles.
So, they say when they were asked to hit the trail again, this time as a fundraiser for all of the other kids in Oregon still waiting for their wishes, they didn’t hesitate for a second.
The family Friday was surrounded by other Wish families as they hiked 26 miles through Silver Falls State Park for the first ever Trailblaze Challenge.
“A lot of it had gotten overgrown, so we were pushing through,” Jeff told FOX 12.
“There were some hills, some really, really steep hills,” Suzi added.
They got a special backpack to carry Micah and wheeled him the rest of the way.
“It may not look the same as all the other hikers out there, or all the other runners, but he’s going to do it,” Suzi said.
“Every day, just give people a little joy, a little hop, and the world’s a better place for it,” Jeff said.
So far, Make-A-Wish Oregon has raised $86,000 through Friday’s event. Every dollar supports the record number of kids waiting for wishes in Oregon, according to the organization.
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