Owensboro man has his sights set on Kilimanjaro, raising money for St. Jude along journey

June 11, 2024 | 12:12 am

Updated June 11, 2024 | 12:30 am

This fall, Brandon Cox is embarking on a journey to fulfill a personal dream and champion a significant cause — fighting childhood cancer through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Known among friends and colleagues for his passion for hiking, Cox has set his sights on Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.

“Those who know me know that Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list for some time,” Cox said. “A while back, I got really into hiking around the time a friend told me about his experience on Kilimanjaro. What followed was 3-plus years of reading and studying the trek.”

Despite a near miss in signing up for a previous expedition, he found motivation in aligning his adventure with a broader mission — raising money to combat childhood cancer.

This project requires fundraising a minimum of $12,000 for St. Jude. Not one to do the bare minimum, Cox is setting his sights on $15,000.

“I am excited to help a worthy cause and help make a small difference in the lives of families and the children that inspire us all,” he said. “Whether our own lives have been affected by cancer or not, we all know someone who has faced that battle. The thought of a childhood being disrupted or cut short by this awful disease is even more a reason to do our part in advancing care, treatment, and research so that pediatric cancer becomes a thing of the past.”

His expedition is scheduled to land in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro International Airport on October 12. The hiking group will spend a day in a local hotel before beginning their 6-day ascent, navigating through five distinct climate zones to reach the summit at 19,341 feet.

To prepare for the challenge, Cox has been doing a lot of cardio and weight training.

“I cycle as often as I can, go on long hikes, and hit the gym several days per week,” he said. “I’ve never been the fastest guy — ask anyone who cycles with me — but I finish every route I start. That’s the beauty of mountaineering — speed isn’t the main goal, endurance is.”

He hopes that his journey, which he is documenting on Instagram, will inspire others not just to seek their own adventures but to consider how they too can make a difference.

“I’d be remiss if I did not thank my loving wife, Charity, for her encouragement and support while I chase this crazy dream,” Cox said. “Without her in my corner, there is no way I’d be on this journey. Also, my kids, who inspire me to be the best version of me I can be. Finally, my professional family – past and present – who have been there since this was a ‘crazy idea’ that turned into a date on the calendar and a real thing – for their encouragement.”

June 11, 2024 | 12:12 am

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