October 16, 2019 – Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for the past seven months. Jonathan Maidment completes his journey to raise awareness and funds for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1). Holding up his Alpha Angels flag to honor those that have lost their battle to this condition, Maidment, a 24-year-old from Connecticut, took each of the 2,650 miles of this long-distance trail for the Alpha-1 community.
Determined, driven, and focused best describe Maidment, and completing a thru-hike of the PCT within one calendar year was a personal goal of his. He has proved that no matter the challenge put before him, such as the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, he did not give up.
Maidment first attempted to hike the PCT in 2018, but in June, he had to break at mile 813 due to severe abdominal pain. He was airlifted to a hospital in Bishop, California, where he was led to emergency surgery. “I was proud of myself for what I did for the Alpha-1 community in 2018, but there was always something in the back of my mind telling me that I really needed to do that, a thru-hike of the entire PCT,” he said.
Maidment himself is an Alpha. He was diagnosed at age 10. As Alpha-1 is a genetic condition, his father, Dave, is also an Alpha and his mother, Karen, is a carrier.
Maidment kept the Alpha-1 community and his followers updated throughout his journey via his official Facebook page, facebook.com/hiking4acure, where his followers were also able to leave him encouraging messages along the way. Facebook fans have been following him each step of the way to celebrate and cheer him on while hiking.
The latest social media challenge engaged followers to like and share a remarkable photo of Maidment. The community was challenged to 2,650 likes, representing the 2,650 miles of the trail, and a generous $20,000 donation would be made to Maidment’s fundraising goal. To date, the post has been liked, commented, and share, over 3,900 times.
AlphaNet is proud to help Maidment reach his fundraising goal. He has inspired Alpha patients over many years and his spirit and tenacity are to be admired. “In honor of its coordinators and their daily efforts in helping Alphas, AlphaNet recognizes Jonathan Maidment’s six-month journey with a contribution to the Alpha-1 Foundation. We are truly in awe Jonathan; what a special accomplishment,” said Mark Delvaux, president & CEO of AlphaNet.
The Foundation and the Alpha-1 community were behind him in every mile of the way. “Jonathan is a young Alpha that has inspired and motivated every one of us to do our part. It has been incredible to experience Jonathan’s high and lows on this journey, and I know this is not his last. I look forward to helping Jonathan share his amazing PCT story,” said Angela McBride, director of corporate relations and community engagement at the Foundation.
On behalf of Alphas and the Alpha-1 community, the Foundation would like thank Jonathan Maidment for embarking on such a journey, as each step he has taken has been one closer to a cure for Alpha-1. “This is a remarkable accomplishment that has raised a tremendous amount of awareness and funds for Alpha-1. We are incredibly grateful to Jonathan Maidment for his efforts,” said Miriam O'Day, president & CEO of the Foundation.
Proceeds from the fundraising activities relating to his hike will be dedicated to research and programs of the Alpha-1 Foundation. To contribute, please visit alpha1.org/maidment.
The Building Friends for a Cure program was created by the Alpha-1 Foundation to make new friends and nurture those friendships throughout the year, because we cannot do it alone, you are all needed!
The program was designed to generate awareness, raise funds for research and related programs of the Foundation, extend our geographic reach, and foster stronger links between our foundation and the community it serves.
For more information on organizing a fundraising event or activity, please contact Angela McBride at (877) 228-7321 ext. 233, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Friends for a Cure program is supported by AlphaNet, CSL Behring, Eversana, Grifols, and Takeda.
About the Alpha-1 Foundation
The Alpha-1 Foundation is committed to finding a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) and to improving the lives of people affected by Alpha-1, worldwide. The Alpha-1 Foundation is a not-for-profit Florida corporation founded in 1995 by John Walsh, Sandy Lindsey, and Susan Stanley, three people diagnosed with Alpha-1. The Foundation has invested more than $76 million to support Alpha-1 research and programs at 116 institutions in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. For more information, visit www.alpha1.org.
Contact: Jeanne Kushner
Director of Communications & Public Affairs
1-877-228-7321, ext. 204