They say it takes 5 million steps to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Hiking 5 million steps fall short of the 216 million, 262 thousand, and 500 steps an average person will take in a lifetime, and Bryton Eddy will miss out on all of them. Regardless, I am dedicating each and every step of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike to this courageous young lady.
Bryton is a young lady of 13 years with Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and a feeding tube to receive all medicines, water, and nutritional supplements. She is a bright, energetic and beautiful person. Her parents, Lee and Sarah J. (McGovern) Eddy are devoted to her constant care as she is unable to verbally communicate and physically transport herself.
They live in a beautiful home that was built in 1940. As you can imagine the house exhibits many of the structural and aging challenges that many houses of its age do. In addition, it's hallways, stairways and general layout make it difficult to maneuver Bryton through the house in her wheelchair. And though a large home it is not laid out to easily store all of her equipment and needs. This home was purchased prior to Bryton’s birth and the couple had every intention of fixing up their “Fixer Upper.” However, with all of the medical bills and then house upkeep needs they have been unable to do so.
Bryton’s father works hard providing for his family beyond anything I could ever imagine, and yet the hospital and doctor bills are insurmountable and overwhelming. Her mother works endlessly caring for Bryton and they both work hard to keep up with the never-ending list of repairs needed on their home. However, the ongoing structural issues and necessary updates have made providing a safe and healthy environment for their "usual,” as well as handicap needs, a daily challenge.
I am hiking the 2189.2 miles for many reasons, and the most significant is to honor this young lady who, if she could, would have already walked 35 million, 587 thousand, and 500 steps.
Please consider joining the Bryton The World Foundation in honoring this young lady by showing your solidarity and wear the Foundation's shirt proudly.
How many steps will you contribute to the cause?
DawnMarie Otto Hayes
Bryton The World Foundation