Oldest Man Walks Appalachian Trail For Cancer

A Virginia man is on a journey to find a cure for cancer. Stephens City Resident Earl Zook is the oldest person to walk the Appalachian Trail. He started the walk last April and will wrap it up next year just in time for his 90th birthday.

A step at a time. It's how Earl Zook has walked through 88 years of life and it's how he plans to tackle raising money to find a cure for cancer.

Every year the Winchester Kiwanis Club visits “Camp Fantastic” and serves breakfast to more than 100 children. “Those children all have cancer and they're from seven to 17. Since I've been going down there helping with that, I looked at these children and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I said to myself, there must be something a person can do to help because the greatest reward in life is helping somebody else,” says Zook.

Last year Earl took his first steps on a journey of 2,000 miles to walk the entire Appalachian Trail. It'll take him three years from start to finish, but he has it all mapped out. “A step at a time and hopefully I'd like to raise 5 million dollars for cancer research,” says Zook.

Earl says this walk is not for him, but for children living with cancer and anybody who has ever lost a loved one to the disease. “It makes you feel good in here to know you're doing something for somebody else that might help some little child make 20, I'm 88. Some of those children won't even make 20 and that's a sad thing,” says Zook.

If you would like to donate to the American Institute for Cancer Research, you can send money to 1759 R. Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20077-3618. Be sure to mention that you're donating to the Earl Zook effort.

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