The Appalachian Trail is 2200 miles of raw nature. It passes through 14 states. At times a treacherous terrain that starts in Georgia and ends in Maine.
It will take Tim Cook six months to walk its entire path. But this is a journey to find a cure for the only person who really understands why he is doing it.
"Cathy and I met when we were down in Bernie, Texas, just outside of San Antonio. In fact we were the only two people above the age of sixteen and under the age of eighty that were single so," Tim remembers.
They've been together ever since. If you've ever met the cooks you know you've just experienced something special. A bond they've leaned on for the last two years. That's because two years ago when Cathy lost sight in one of her eyes, she was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
April Brownlee with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society explains what MS. is, ". . .the coating on your nerves is called Myelin it wears away for whatever reason the body eats away at that coating, and it basically causes your body to short circuit." SOT
Cathy recalls how she felt the moment she heard her diagnosis, "I freaked out because I thought of Annette Funicello in a wheelchair."
In 1992, former Mouseketeer and silver screen darling Annette Funicello gave a face to MS after announcing she had been battling it for the last five years. A relatively unkown disease at the time.
"Back in 1994 when the first injectible treatment brought out to the market use brought out to the market use. . .you had to win a lottery to be able to take it because there was such a shortage of it," said Brownlee.
Not even twenty years later there have been remarkable strides made in treating MS but there is no cure. That's where Tim comes back in, "Big issues require big actions I wanted to do something that was challenging. Not that my challenges will ever equal the challenges that people with MS have to deal with on a day to day basis."
So, in March Tim leaves Amarillo behind and a wife who is a constant companion. But Cathy is the one who encouraged Tim to take the trip. A once in a lifetime adventure for a cause that couldn't hit any closer to home.
Looking at pictures of people that have hiked the trail already it makes you pause and wonder if they took the trip for equally important reasons.
For Tim the decision was always simple. . .anything to help Cathy.