Stephanie Anderson: Hiking for a cure

Published 8:15 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

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By Beth Behrenhauser

“Nothing is guaranteed in this life. Cancer can take everything away from you in an instant. I am hiking the trail for all those that can’t. The hard days make me grateful that I am healthy enough to still be out here. Who am I to complain? Who am I to quit? I know many who endure so much discomfort, pain, and hardship because of cancer. I am honored to be out here representing those who fight against cancer every day,” Stephanie Anderson stated when asked why she is hiking the Appalachian Trail for the Cowell Cancer center being built in the Outer Banks.

Anderson has now completed over 1400 miles out of almost 2200 of the Appalachian Trail and is currently in New York. She has been hiking for just shy of 100 days and definitely has no plans to give up now. When I left her on day 87, she was getting ready to cross into New Jersey from Pennsylvania, or Rocksylvania as she so lovingly calls it. It was a rough state where hiking turned more into rock climbing. My friends and I spent four days with her, making her load lighter during the days, making her laugh, buying her some hearty meals and giving her a warm, dry place to sleep. It rained the entire time we were there. The rocks were slick, Stephanie was wet, but determined.

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She has several friends and family come visit on the trail to support her. Some have hiked with her, some have been trail angels supplying food and drinks for all the hikers, and all have shared in helping her fulfill this dream. She stated, “I couldn’t have come this far without the love and support of my husband, David and my two boys Tyler and Nathan. THEY ARE MY ROCKS!”

Stephanie appreciates all of the local businesses that have helped support her fundraiser and East Carolina Radio 102.5 The Shark for following her progress and sending love and well wishes. She still has a long way to go to reach her first goal of $10,000 for the cancer center. If you would like to donate to help her reach her goal, send a check to ECU Health Foundation, 690 Medical Drive, Greenville, NC 27834, Hiking For A Cure or contact donor support: Jennifer Swartzenburg at or 252-449-5933. Together we can provide hope and healing one step at a time.

I am so proud to call Stephanie my friend. She is tough, adventurous, and inspiring. I was happy to have this time with her, to visit, chat and give love and support. I learned so much about her trials, her successes and her “tramily.” Hopefully she will write a book when she gets home, so everyone can learn from her experiences.