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[IP] pumper hiking 2,168 miles
Insulin-Pump Wearing Diabetic Hiking 2,168 Miles of Appalachian Trail To
Raise Funds for Diabetes Screenings
ATLANTA, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Gondolfo, 56, known as the Diabetic
Hiker, will hike the 2,168 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to
Georgia (starting July 6) to demonstrate that health limitations can be
overcome and to raise $100,000 for free diabetes screenings.
Gondolfo, a leading Atlanta business executive, plans to up-link audio and
video reports on his progress to his Web site, www.diabetichiker.com , which
also links to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Web site for those who
want to contribute to his goal. Gondolfo is the first individual for whom
the ADA has established such a link.
"I've trained for this hike, mentally and physically, have an incredible
support system in my family and friends and I firmly believe in the cause
that can benefit from my achievement," says Gondolfo. "All people --
diabetics included -- should realize that life doesn't stop with diagnosis.
My experience will serve as a clear demonstration that health limitations can
be overcome with the right attitude and ambition."
"Awareness is a critical factor in reigning in the diabetes epidemic that is
sweeping this country," says Claudia Zevallos, district director at ADA.
"Through Joe's www.diabetichiker.com site and his fundraising goal, he is
helping to raise the level of consciousness about diabetes and at the same
time helping people understand that diabetes can be effectively managed if
The hike does pose health risks for Gondolfo, who has worn a pre-programmed
insulin pump for 4-years to help manage his diabetes. It is anticipated that
Gondolfo is the first "pump-wearing" diabetic to through-hike the Trail. To
minimize health risks associated with the hike, he has consulted with his
doctors and he will carry extra medical supplies. Gondolfo, hiking with a
family friend, will carry all of his own supplies to eat, sleep and live out
on the Trail.
Gondolfo will hike from the northern point in Baxter State Park, Maine and
anticipates finishing in 5 1/2 months by hiking approximately 15 miles a day.
He has about 5 rest days built into the trip plus partial rest days when he
will visit selected towns along the Trail including: Gorham and Hanover,
N.H.; Manchester Center, Vt.; Salisbury, Conn.; Delaware Water Gap and
Duncannon, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Harpers Ferry, W. Va.; Waynesboro and
Damascus, Va.; Hot Springs, N.C.; and Springer Mountain and Atlanta, Ga.
Gondolfo is senior vice president of real estate and a partner in RTM
Restaurant Group which operates restaurants including Arby's Roast Beef,
Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits, Del Taco and
T. J. Cinnamons Restaurants.
"RTM encourages all its employees to dream big and make a difference," said
Russ Umphenour, president of RTM. "Joe Gondolfo epitomizes these values and
continues to challenge himself to live them each and every day." Visit
www.diabetichiker.com to track Gondolfo's progress.
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