Hiking from Mexico to Canada, which is the equivalent of 100 marathons, is not a journey that many people would choose to take on every day. Fewer people have stood on the summit of Mount Everest than completed the Pacific Trail in a single hike. However, that is exactly what one man is doing to raise $25,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Joe Robinson, class of ’09, decided to take on this difficult task after his mother died of the disease in 2006. His journey will begin April 26, 2012, after Robinson leaves his job as a retail merchandising manager at deviantART in Los Angeles, Calif.
Robinson will then begin his 2,650 mile walk along the Pacific Crest Trail toward the Northwest. He will document his journey through photographs and videos and upload them to Facebook and the fundraiser website.
Senior Nick Irving is aiding Robinson with his goal by acting as the 100marathons.org Project Communications Manager. Irving develops sponsorship packages and reaches out to sponsors such as REI, The North Face and Columbia Sportswear; manages the social community; and handles media relations.
In addition to these tasks, Irving will also act as a direct link between Robinson on the trail and the online social community and will upload photos and videos of Robinson.
Irving and Robinson met during Irving’s freshman year in 2008 at Linfield after he rushed the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, which Robinson was a member of.
“Over the course of his last year in college, he served as a role model and friend as I began the journey that is college,” Irving said in an email. “Typically, people find it hard to stay in contact with friends that move away, but Joe and I continued to share personal successes, troubles and laughs with each other.”
Robinson told Irving over a beer one night that he planned to walk from Mexico to Canada to raise money for multiple sclerosis.
While some people may have thought of it as a joke, Irving saw how determined Robinson was and decided to help in anyway he could.
“Joe’s journey along the Pacific Crest Trail brings inspiring awareness to a disease that keeps people from moving through the use of today’s modern social media platforms,” Irving said. “By bringing an online community together in support of a worthy cause, I am finding a purpose in something bigger than anything I can accomplish alone.”
Irving’s main objectives are to raise and donate $25,000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Society and to inspire people to live everyday with a purpose.
Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease that keeps people from walking, and Irving said that he feels that with every step Robinson takes on the trail it will inspire himself and influence others to be motivated to seize their days on Earth.
“What [Robinson] is setting out to do is an incredibly dangerous and difficult task, but he would walk 100 marathons 10 times over if it would bring his mom back,” Irving said. “Help us out. This is a story about what we as a community can do to combat the vicious disease that is Multiple Sclerosis.”
To donate or for more information about what Irving and Robinson are accomplishing, visit www.100marathons.org or their Facebook page facebook.com/100marathons.org.
Samantha Sigler/News editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org