“Bear the Burden” ruck to raise money for families with terminally-ill children

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

PELHAM — While parenting comes with many stressors, knowing that your child has a terminal illness can not only drain a family emotionally, but create a significant finically stressfully situation as well.

The Wings of Hope Pediatric Foundation is holding an event called “Bear the Burden Ruck 2020,” which will raise money to support their efforts in relieving those stressors by providing financial and other types of support to families with critically-ill children.

The ruck, or a weighted hike, will take place at Oak Mountain State Park on Nov. 13, where participants will walk on a 10-mile hike to support the foundation and show solidarity with those who need help by physically bearing the burden.

Foundation Vice President Tonya Willingham said that her personal experience in losing children to a terminal genetic disorder led her and President Dr. Dan Trotman, a hospice doctor, to create this foundation to relieve that burden that she had learned firsthand.

“My husband and I were trying to figure out how to spend time with our family, while still doing day-to-day chores and taking care of our child, and that was our side of it,” Willingham said. “Dr. Trotman knew of families who were struggling financially, with things like paying for food and gas. So we put our heads together and created Wings of Hope.”

The foundation does different events throughout the year as fundraisers to support their mission of providing financial relief for some bills, groceries or other household needs like cleaning supplies.

This ruck will allow other people to actually bear the burden for those families through donations and admission for participation.

Those interested in participating in the ruck or interested in supporting the foundation can visit Wingsofhopepediatricfoundation.org.