Man Hiking Nearly 5,000 Miles Across America To Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A man named Clay Chapman has hiked nearly 5,000 miles across America to raise awareness for breast cancer research. 

According to KCRA, Chapman decided to hike the American Discovery Trail, which runs from Delaware to California to raise awareness for the disease that killed his mother a decade ago. “My mother passed away from breast cancer 10 years ago,” Chapman explained. “So this hike is very much a way to honor her.”

Chapman began his hike on the East Coast in February. He is set to finish his trip in late October. The last stop on his trip will be at Point Reyes National Seashore, which is north of San Francisco. It was noted that the American Discovery Trail runs 4,834 miles. Chapman has hiked through Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and now California.

Chapman is hiking in support of the Lousiville, Kentucky nonprofit, Hope Scarves. The organization encourages people facing all types of cancer by sending out scarves and stories of hope that have been shared with it by thousands of survivors. “Our mission also extends to support research – a portion of every dollar raised funds metastatic breast cancer research,” the nonprofit explained. “Through connection & collaboration, we’re changing the way people experience cancer.”

Chapman also told the media outlet his hike is set to end on October 29th. Afterward, he plans to travel home to Louisville with his brother. He will return to work as a videographer and carpenter. “It means a lot that I’m able to finish during October which is breast cancer awareness month,” Chapman stated. “It’s these little beacons of hope that are out there in the distance and it really helps you know that the world is not as dark as it often seems.”

Colorado Native is Also Hiking the American Discovery Trail 

Meanwhile, former Vail, Colorado resident, Briana DeSactis began a hiking trip on the American Discovery Trail on January 1st. Steamboat Pilot reports that she averages 30 miles a day and usually sleeps in her tent except for the occasional motel stay. 

DeSactis is currently hiking through the Rockies and doing a stretch that reaches upwards of 13,000 feet above sea level. While speaking about the trip, DeSanctis said, “I’m doing this because, first of all, I’m a crazy backpacker. I walked 2,189.3 miles, which took me 196 days or six months and 12 days to finish and I learned so much.” 

DeSactis also said that she is not discouraged by others’ skepticism of the hiking trip. “People always ask, ‘Do you want to quit?’” she explained. “I always tell them, ‘My worst day on the Appalachian Trail is still better than my best day anywhere else!’”