A Worthy Adventure
Within the first semester of his college experience in Madison, Sean Markey ’19 experienced the loss of three hometown friends/classmates to suicide. Six years later, in 2021, he used those losses to try and save others. Seany solo thru-hiked all 2,193 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He chronicled his journey in a blog and simultaneously raised funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, hoping to bring discussion and support around mental health. By the time he finished his hike, he had raised more than $29,000 for AFSP — a substantially greater goal than his original idea of raising $1 for each mile hiked. Seany, like all AT thru-hikers, was tested physically, emotionally, and mentally throughout the journey. But he finished with a renewed appreciation for the magnitude of beauty Mother Nature has to offer, the strength of the mind and body, and the need to support others always — both on and off trail.