Seth Weiner, MAS, president and CEO of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based distributor Sonic Promos (PPAI 288270, Standard-Plus), is hiking 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) on April 20 to raise funds for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for cholangiocarcinoma patients.

  • Cholangiocarcinoma is bile duct cancer, which occurs when a malignant tumor grows in one of the ducts that transport bile from the liver to the small intestine.
  • About 8,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Because it’s a rare cancer, Weiner says, it’s difficult to secure funding for research and treatment compared to more common cancers. It’s a cause near and dear to his heart, as he lost his college friend Mark Kinsley to the disease last year.

“Mark's diagnosis was particularly shocking as he was only 50 years old, far younger than the typical age range (60-70) for this type of cancer,” Weiner says. “The grim reality of cholangiocarcinoma is that early detection is extremely challenging, and by the time symptoms appear, the cancer has often progressed to an advanced stage and the survivability rate is extremely low.”

The One Day Hike

Weiner will be participating in The One Day Hike, which comprises two concurrent, non-competitive hikes of 100K and 50K that follow the C&O Canal Towpath and end in Bolivar, West Virginia.

  • Held annually since 2000, the 50K event starts at 10 a.m. from Whites Ferry in Montgomery County, Maryland. Hikers have until midnight to complete either hike.
  • Weiner completed The One Day Hike last year, reaching 51K.

Weiner is setting a fundraising goal of $5150 for donations. Why 5150? “Van Halen, of course,” says Weiner, referring to the legendary rock band’s 1986 album, which featured Sammy Hagar replacing David Lee Roth as lead singer.

  • Plus, Mark would have turned 51 this year, and Weiner is 50.

“It's an ambitious goal for donations but I know that with your help, we can make a significant impact,” Weiner says. “Mark touched so many lives and many people loved him. I'm confident that his legacy will live on through our collective efforts. Your generosity will help fund crucial research, provide support for patients and their families and ultimately bring us closer to a cure.”

How To Participate

There are four ways that you can support the fundraiser:

  • Solo hike: If 50K seems too daunting, Weiner suggests walking a 5K (3.1 miles) and donating $51.50.
  • Hike with others: Invite a friend or rally a group together and consider taking up a collection.
  • Hop in Weiner’s backpack: Consider donating per mile of Weiner’s hike.
  • Share Mark's story and fundraiser with others.

You can read Mark’s obituary here. You can donate here.