On the Appalachian Trail, Stephanie Anderson continues her mission

By on July 5, 2023

Stephanie Anderson is walking the Appalachian Trail to raise money for an OBX cancer center.
(Photo courtesy of Beth Behrenhauser)

Submitted story by Beth Behrenhauser

Almost 100 days into her hike, Kill Devil Hills resident Stephanie Anderson has now completed more than 1,400 miles, or about two-thirds of her journey along the Appalachian Trail, to raise funds for the Cowell Cancer Center being built by Outer Banks Health.

She has been hiking for just shy of 100 days, and when I left her on Day 87, she was getting ready to cross into New Jersey from Pennsylvania, or “Rocksylvania” as she so lovingly calls it. It was a rough state where hiking turned more into rock climbing. My group spent four days with her, making her load lighter during the days, making her laugh, buying her some hearty meals, and giving her a warm, dry place to sleep. It rained the entire time we were there. The rocks were slick, Stephanie was wet, but determined.

“The hard days make me grateful that I am healthy enough to still be out here. Who am I to quit? I know many who endure so much discomfort, pain, and hardship because of cancer. I am honored to be out here representing those who fight against cancer every day,” Anderson said, when explaining why she embarked on her mission.

She has had some friends and family come visit on the trail to support her.  Some have hiked with her, some have been trail angels supplying food and drinks for all the hikers, and all have shared in helping her fulfill this dream. “I couldn’t have come this far without the love and support of my husband, David and my two boys, Tyler and Nathan,” she said. “They are my rocks.”

Stephanie appreciates all of the local businesses that have helped support her fundraiser and East Carolina Radio 102.5, The Shark, for following her progress and sending love and well wishes. She still has a long way to go to reach her first goal of $10,000 for the cancer center.

If you would like to donate to help her reach her goal, send a check to ECU Health Foundation, 690 Medical Drive, Greenville, NC, 27834. Or contact Donor Support: Jennifer Swartzenburg at jenniferswartzenberg@theobh.com or 252-449-5933 or donate online at Hiking For A Cure.

I am so proud to call Stephanie my friend. She is tough, adventurous and inspiring. I was happy to have this time with her, to visit, chat, and give love and support. I learned so much about her trials, her successes, and her “tramily.” Hopefully, she will write a book when she gets home, so everyone can learn from her experiences.


  • Just a mom

    I am envious of your time on the trail in PA.
    I am proud of you and your goal and good heartfelt intentions!
    Go Stephanie!

    Wednesday, Jul 5 @ 8:46 pm
  • Glenn

    Kudos to you, Stephanie. Thanks for leading by example…continued success to you on your journey! Stay safe & have fun!

    Wednesday, Jul 5 @ 11:03 pm
  • Smokey

    Way to go Steph. Be safe.

    Thursday, Jul 6 @ 6:53 am
  • Drajon

    One helluva hiker.

    Thursday, Jul 6 @ 6:19 pm