About Us

What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a de degenerative autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). It not only directly impacts 1 million people here in the United States, but their families and caregivers as well.
KNOW MORE >
KNOW MORE >
Bigger Than Me
This is My WHY

Hi. My name is Jennifer and I have MS. My first steps on the AT were in October 2016. Earlier that year it would have been impossible. My legs had stopped working right. Alone and afraid in a hospital room, reassuring words I’d learned as a kid came to mind: “I will praise You, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” It was a reminder of the deep capacity for resilience we all have. After myriad tests and MRIs, lesions in my spine and in my brain were found and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I did walk again—first with a walker, then with a cane, and, gradually, without assistance. But the ordeal fueled a powerful need to push back against MS. I did my first long-distance hike— a 76-mile section of the AT through the Smoky Mountains, followed by a thru-hike of Missouri’s 230-mile Ozark Trail in 2020. When I began considering thru hiking the entire AT, I knew what I’d be asking of my body and that to do it, I needed a much bigger ‘why’ than just me. I wanted to raise awareness and funds to fight a disease affecting some 1 million people in the US.

 A ground crew came together and while planning, a friend asked, “Raising funds for a someday cure is great, but how are you going to help the guy, say single dad, just diagnosed, in a wheel chair, how are you going to help that guy, NOW?” FEARSOME is the result of that challenge- a nonprofit providing on-the-ground support to empower those living with chronic, degenerative disease remain as mobile as possible for as long as possible.

A lot has happened since my legs suddenly ‘took a hike.’  In 2023, along with my hiking partner and fellow board member, Dave Tilden, I thru-hiked the AT. I was still hiking in defiance of a disease I must live with, but this time I was hiking for everyone who has MS, or who may have a loved one with MS, as well as for myself. 

That first campaign raised over $30,000, more than $16,000 of which has been through our website. I invite you to come along with me as the journey continues. Follow online, if you (or someone you know) has an autoimmune disease, dedicate a Hike in Honor of that person, help me celebrate stories of resilience by sharing your story. And know that in whatever ways you are facing challenges, you are not alone; you are Fearsome.

Your involvement, encouragement, and support are greatly valued. 



The Ground Crew
When you have a chronic disease, even the most independent of us learn how much we need the love and support of those around us. Undertaking a project as ambitious as Fearsome was the same, and a wonderful group of people have come together to make this happen. Meet the fearsome Ground Crew.
Dave Tilden

Dave is a trained chef and works for fit-flavors, a St. Louis-based fresh, prepared meals business for health-conscious people. Dave also thru-hiked the AT and was responsible for nutrition and meal development.

 

Eric Reinsfelder
Eric is the Vice President of Brand & Sports Marketing at Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, headquartered in St. Louis, MO.
Terry Winkleman
Founder of the Sustainable Backyard Network, a 501(c)(3) that educates and engages the St. Louis community in sustainability and resilience practices. Terry, who also plans to hike a section of the AT with Jennifer, has experience in retail, advertising, and journalism.

Jim Luepke

 Jim has a BS and MS in Geological Sciences from the University of Missouri, Columbia – go Tigers! He is president of an environmental consulting firm, JLA & Associates, and has been backcountry backpacking since the 1970’s. Jim provided logistical and field support, along with contingency planning.

Stephen Fear & Mary Wisz

Steve and Mary are retired senior policy analysts with the federal government. They will provide logistical support for the hike and any other assistance needed.

Tracy and Sean Conrad

Founders of RadVine Marketing, Sean and Tracy are masters of communication, organizational development, strategic consulting, and marketing, embodying their motto, “We are about partnerships, not products

Executive Board

Julie Jones: Treasurer

A marketing and merchandising consultant and business owner, Julie has expertise in business strategies, e-commerce, marketing, merchandising, operations, and business management across business platforms. She joined Fearsome as a board member.  

Dave Tilden: Vice President 

Dave is a trained chef and works for fit-flavors, a St. Louis-based fresh, prepared meals business for health-conscious people. Dave also thru-hiked the AT and was responsible for nutrition and meal development.

Jennifer Fear: President

Former Director of Water and Soil Conservation in St. Louis,  experienced as a government conservation & sustainability advisor, with certifications and training in sustainable infrastructure and a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate and Industrial Communications. MS Warrior.

Mike Becks: Strategy 

Mike is a retired insurance executive and has been deeply immersed in various charitable organizations, including as a founding member of the St. Charles Habitat for Humanity.
You are Fearsome Too!

Contact us about becoming a Fearsome Sponser, Trail Dedications or Follow us!

Fearsome

Davidson, NC, 28036

team@fearsometreks.org

Follow Us