I first became aware of the Maryland Trek during the Summer of 2019. Our lives were forever changed that summer when just after Memorial Day, my 12-year-old nephew Nic was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. He and my sister Jane relocated to Maryland from their home in Alaska and immediately started a grueling treatment protocol at Johns Hopkins. They fairly quickly were connected with Just In Power Kids, allowing Nic to receive holistic services and support. Nic was also honored as one of the Trek kids that year. It was a true highlight for him to meet up with the Trek team while they were waiting out a storm in Ellicott City and brought him much joy to be honored by the Trek. My 3 kids were very excited about their "celebrity" cousin whose photo was on a van travelling across the state of Maryland.
I wish that Nic's story had a happy ending and the treatment was successful in keeping his very aggressive cancer at bay. But, unfortunately he relapsed almost immediately following the completion of his treatment in January 2020 and passed away on July 6, 2020, just a little over a year after his diagnosis. Over the course of watching him and his family go through the unimaginable, I saw firsthand how the support, care, and resources of groups like Just In Power Kids can have such a huge impact on families' lives. For me to be able to give back to that effort in Nic's honor gives meaning to his loss and is one way I can try to live up to his inspiration.
While I'd love to train and complete the complete Trek across the state of MD in the future, I am excited to take on the 26-mile walking leg on Day 5 this year. Please consider supporting Justin Power Kids efforts and the 2021 Maryland Trek. Thank you for your time and consideration.