Hello to everybody!
I would like to start out with a sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed their support in any form to the Franks Walk endeavor. The kind words of encouragement, the tips and recommendations, and the monetary help cannot be valued enough.
Unfortunately it is with a heavy heart that I have to inform all of you of my decision regarding this season's hike attempt. It seems that all things considered, this was not the year for me to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. First my health became an issue, then trying to find the right time and place to begin again became a difficult task. The weather this year has been unusual to say the least, and this has had some effect on my decision. To be honest there are more factors than I can list; but the main factor that has lead to this moment is myself. I was simply not prepared enough.
It is always difficult for someone to admit that they were wrong, or to accept culpability. In this case it really does lie entirely on my shoulders. External factors aside, I could have been more prepared.
However, I do not see this as a failure. If anything I am more determined than ever to hike the PCT in its entirety. How this will be accomplished and what it will take is still in the air. I do have a few things figured out though;
1) Effectively immediately, the paypal option will be discontinued and all of the money that was not used in the initial attempt will be donated to the two non-profit organizations (CFRI, CFF) as per the original intent of Franks Walk.
In the future any support will be limited to donating to CFRI and CFF in the spirit of the hike and in memory of Jessie Franks. it is a possibility in the future that there may be a Franks Walk store, but that is still in the air.
2) The hike attempt will need to be reformatted. Whether I will attempt a complete thru-hike next season, or will pick away at the trail incrementally season by season, it is clear that the original parameter of: Thru-Hike the PCT during the 2011 season has changed.
3) I will spend the time between now and next hike season training, and trying to get some of my personal affairs in order to ensure a long term success of the Franks Walk PCT endeavor.
4) Attempting to accomplish something that has never been done before by someone with Cystic Fibrosis (in this case, hike the PCT with Cystic Fibrosis) is always going to be more difficult than originally anticipated.
I would like to express a deep and sincere apology to anyone who may feel slighted in the least about how this has all turned out. It was never my intent for things to go the way that they have, but that doesn't change the fact that they did end this way.
I began Franks Walk for a few reasons, the first and foremost was to fulfill a promise to my late sister Jessie to carry her ashes with me as I hiked from Mexico to Canada. This goal has not changed and I intend to complete it regardless of how long it may take me to do.
Second, I wanted to help bring awareness to and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research. And even if it was only one person, or one hundred who made a donation to research/spread the word/or heard about CF for the first time, I feel that that goal was a success.
When one really looks at a charity event or fundraising attempt, one must address the question of, "What is my goal as a contributor/or fundraiser?" I feel that there is only ever one answer to this question, and that is a resounding, "Help People." in fact, that is the only real answer to anything. I am a veteran of numerous pharmaceutical studies. Each time I was approached to do one there was only one question I ever considered before I said yes, "Will it help people?" If the answer was Yes, then I really had no choice but to go through with it. I believe the same applies to Franks Walk. Let me reassure you, Franks Walk is not over. Not by a long shot. It is merely going on a brief hiatus necessary to ensure a long term success of not just the goal of walking 2,650 miles; but of the long term goal of making a difference in other peoples lives.
So in summation, I am halting the Franks Walk attempt on the PCT for this season. Next season I hope to either thru-hike or begin tackling sections of the trail. All money that was not used in my initial aborted attempt WILL be donated between CFRI and CFF as per original plan. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to everyone involved with my support crew, as well as my sincerest thank you's to all of my contributors who tried to help me fulfill my promise and dream of hiking the PCT.
Until next time,
Live, Love, and Thrive.