This beautiful young woman is Torie Costa of North Carolina. She lost her battle with Cancer on Christmas day. I walked a CureSearch fundraiser with her aunt, an Ultimate Hike two-time alumnae, at the Baxter Trails at Fort Mill earlier this year. She said that she had never heard of CureSearch before the diagnosis...but that is where the doctors directed her family to learn more about the disease and treatment options.

This is not meant to be "a downer" during the holidays but I pass it along to thank you for your past support for CureSearch for Children's Cancer research and to remind you that the fight continues.

When I first learned about the Ultimate Hike, I have to admit that I meant for it to be a one-time thing...challenge myself to see if I could raise the money and see if I could walk 28.3 miles in one day. When I met the people and heard their stories, I was hooked. Torie's Aunt, Michelle; Emily's mother, Amy; Eve's mother, Christy; Izzy's mom, Jennie and Will's dad, Jeff have amazed and inspired me.

I plan to be involved again this year in a support role, either as a coach or a volunteer on Ultimate Hike day (I will not be raising money but hope to do that again in the future.) If you want to learn more, go to: and

Another Ultimate Hike alumna, Nancy Silverman of Camden, has completed 1,000 miles of 2,000 she intends to walk in a twelve month period to raise money for CureSearch. With short legs, she is a hiking machine!

With thanks for your support and best wishes for the coming year, James

About the Author

James A. Brannock

James A. Brannock

James Brannock is a Columbia personal property appraiser (furniture, silver, art, antiques, etc.). He began backpacking when his son was in Boy Scouts and spent 10 days backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch...he continues to backpack once or twice a year with friends from those Scouting days. Brannock and his son, Calder, walked the Coast to Coast Trail across England in 2010 (see the photo from the Lake District). On the Ultimate Hike for CureSearch-Children's Cancer Research, Brannock walked over 30 miles in one day...some eight miles further than any previous single day personal record.

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