Cancer survivor walking for Make-A-Wish

Barbara Hootman

Beth Padgett is a stage-four cancer survivor and former marathon runner who has been beating the odds by helping others. She is participating in the Trailblaze Challenge 2016 to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“I am required to raise $2,500 to participate in the Trailblaze Challenge,” Padgett said. “The average cost to grant a wish for a child is $6,000. I have made that my personal goal.”

The Trailblaze Challenge is a 28.3-mile September hike along the Appalachian Foothills Trail near Cashiers to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Padgett’s mother passed on March 14, 2015, after weeks of illness. She had undergone a routine surgery that went wrong. Padgett and her sisters stayed with the ill mother for five weeks. During the time she was with her mother, Padgett did not do any training or fundraising.

“When I came home I stayed in an emotional paralysis for about a week,” she said. “One of the last things my mom said to me was ‘Do the hike.’ So I laced up my boots, leashed my dog, Liesel, and hit the trails. It turned out to be therapeutic, and I think in her wisdom she knew it would be that way for me. My mom kept on giving, even after her death. Many donations to Make-A-Wish Foundation were made in her honor,in lieu of flowers.”

To support Padgett by donating online, go to You can also donate by check mailed to Make-A-Wish Central & Western NC, 1131 Harding Place, Charlotte, NC 28104. Reference the Trailblaze Challenge Spring 2016 with Beth Padgett’s name noted. You may also give cash or check to Padgett made out to Make-A-Wish Foundation. You will receive a confirmation and receipt from Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This is not about me,” Padgett said. “It is about the chronically or terminally ill children and their families. I urge everyone to go to the Make-A-Wish website and read some of their stories. You (have) a life-altering opportunity to help in this endeavor.

“All contributions are appreciated, and none are too small to make a difference.”

For more, contact Padgett at The Black Mountain News wrote about Padgett in the March 3 issue.