NJ man hiking Appalachian Trail stops in Erwin, TN while raising money for ALS research

ERWIN, TN (WJHL) – A New Jersey man hiking the Appalachian trail to raise money for a friend with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, made a pit stop in Erwin, Tennessee on Friday.

Steven Riecker said his best friend Roger was recently diagnosed with ALS, a condition that weakens muscles and causes paralysis. Riecker said he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail for the first time in honor of his friend.

He’s hiking the 2200 mile, 14 state journey while raising money and awareness of the incurable disease. His journey started just over a month ago in Springer Mountain, GA and ends in Maine.

He hopes to complete the hike and raise $1 million dollars for ALS research by August.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail but suddenly the noise in the back of my head got very loud and it kept saying if not now than when, if not now than when, what can you really do to make a difference?” Riecker said.

Riecker has set up a website for people to donate to the cause, you can donate by visiting hike4roger.com. So far he’s raised just over $10,000.

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