Maine teen with hemophilia raises $ 28,000 to hike Appalachian Trail – NBC Boston
At 16, William Addison of Falmouth, Maine has not only driven thousands of miles already, but has exceeded goals that would be ambitious for anyone of any age.
On June 5, 2020, when he was still 15 years old, Addison embarked on a southbound hike of the Appalachian Trail, starting 15 miles from Mt. Katahdin near the Abol Bridge in Millinocket.
When he completed this hike in Georgia on October 8, 2020 and the remaining miles in Katahdin on May 30, 2021, Addison had not only pushed himself to walk about 2,200 miles, but had successfully done it as a person with severe hemophilia, all while raising $ 28,000 for Save One Life, a group that fights bleeding disorders in developing countries.
“Even me thinking about it now, it’s crazy,” Addison said during a school break last Monday.
Initially, Addison had set out to raise just $ 2,200 for the charity, which would have meant he would have raised a dollar for roughly every mile of his hike.
He never expected to exceed the goal so far – at one point, near the start of his hike in Maine, when he spent 36-48 hours completely alone in the woods, he wasn’t sure if be able to complete the main stage of the trail in one go.
Hiker Kyle Burgess describes terrifying details of what went through his head as he was harassed for 6 minutes by a cougar on a trail in Utah.
“In the first week, I just decided my goal was to get to the Maine-New Hampshire border, and then I’ll decide if I want to continue,” he explained.
Addison decided to keep walking, even after his parents’ visits to bring him medicine and snacks every four or five days ended as he moved further and further south.
The drug was a critical part of what made the trip possible, as a higher dose lowered his chances of a cut, he couldn’t stop bleeding or, even worse, internal bleeding or severe bruising near a bone. or a joint that can cause permanent damage.
“The blood itself would erode the cartilage. You don’t want that, ”he said of the potential consequences of a joint injury.
Fortunately, Addison didn’t have a problem like this on her trip. He also carried a GPS unit with built-in satellite messaging and an emergency alert system in case he got into serious trouble.
“We asked her to do a lot of things to be able to go there,” said Addison’s mother, Victoria Kuhn.
Besides getting his school to agree to give him time to complete the hike, she said, “he produced a fairly comprehensive Excel spreadsheet” showing what he would bring for the supplies and how. he would proceed for his hike.
In the end, he emerged from the woods at around 30 pounds. lighter, having eaten countless Snickers bars and encountered bears and rattlesnakes.
He said the most physically demanding part of the trip was in the White Mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, while the most mentally demanding part was in Virginia.
With her goal of completing the Appalachian Trail only being achieved within the past two weeks, Addison doesn’t plan on getting much rest.
“In about a week, I’ll be hitting the Long Trail in Vermont,” he said.
The almost fully completed Eagle Scout is also raising money again for Save One Life as he works to climb New Hampshire 48.
Kuhn said she and her husband support her plans for future hikes in New England and others in the United States.
Their only request is, “Don’t do Everest, if you don’t mind. “