It’s Thursday August 13 and we have reached central Maryland. This day 5 of our trek will be a memorable one as we are now in the heart of central Maryland and moving south towards our state capital. This day is for Ava Daniels, a vibrant 8 year old girl with so much going for her. She is in between the ages of my two sons and I want her to have a long outlook ahead of her.  Ava’s story is below, but we have a lot happening today, including incentive for you to win cool things by supporting us.

Going through Annapolis will be such an inspiration after seeing half the state this week. My route last year went to Sandy Point instead, so I am looking forward to this. There might be a few surprises in the city, but we certainly need to cross the water. Since we can’t hike or bike across the Bay Bridge, our bikes will be fixed on trainers and set on the back of two boats (for the five of us). We will bike on the boats, over the bay, under the bridge. This will be a sight, so if you can get to the city docks by 4 PM, please track us live and we would love to see you.

We start out on mile 189 of our journey with two new day trekkers. My friend Colleen Morehead lives on the Eastern Shore, so we are heading towards her home.  Cal Bowman is a man I met a year and a half ago at a race. He wrote me one night asking about the weather for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC. Then we bumped into each other on the metro. I’m glad we did. He is a stand up guy who stepped in a few weeks ago and raised over $2,000 on his own. Wow! That is dedication and he is determined (and proud) to do over 40 miles with us today.

Extra Incentive from some partners today:

Shades of the Bay in Annapolis wants to give away two $100 gift cards to people who first donate a minimum of $10 and either:

  • Guess the number of steps we take getting from Elkridge to Annapolis to the docks.


  • Guess the time it will take for us to bike across the Chesapeake Bay. Dock to dock.

Put your guess in the Facebook post about Ava and Linda Mann will post the winners on her page in the evening.


Dutch Corner Restaurant in Manchesteris hosting MVHS FBLA students for a fundraiser day to benefit The Cool Kids Campaign. Please join them for breakfast or lunch. They are open 5 am- 2 pm:)



Day 5 – Ava Daniels

8 years old

Type of Cancer: Pre–B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Lives in Monkton, MD

Ava was diagnosed with Pre – B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on February 9, 2009, shortly after her second birthday. One month later, Ava’s family learned after another bone marrow aspiration that she was a slow responder to the chemotherapy and because of that, she would need more intense treatment than most children for a much longer period because she was at a higher risk for relapse.

AvaAva experienced her first Isolated CNS (central nervous system) relapse on November 16, 2010 and then completed two more years of intense therapy with cranial radiation. Her second Isolated CNS relapse was on January 2, 2013. She underwent a Matched Unrelated Donor (MUD) Bone Marrow Transplant on April 18, 2013. She experienced her third full relapse on February 18, 2015 and was placed on hospice care on February 26, 2015. Ava is still fighting strong and is now being placed on a t-cell trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Ava is a fighter and she is also a spunky 8 year old girl. She’s outdoorsy and loves all of God’s creatures. She can be found fishing on her grandparent’s boat (catch and release only) and having “toad hunts” at night!  Ava loves the summer, loves the beach, and wants to learn how to surf now that she knows how to swim.  Ava loves movies, almost any movie, but popcorn with butter is a must for optimum movie enjoyment! She is not a fan of school, but is always on the lookout for her next adventure and she loves bright colors – the brighter the better.  Hot pink is her favorite, but she is also seen sporting tie-dye quite often.  She is lovable, energetic, and happy to be alive!  She truly is one little girl who loves life, an example for all of us on how to live, with reckless abandon, arms wide open, embracing the moment!



Today is day 5 of our Trek Across Maryland and today we do this for you!

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