Walking 18 miles a day to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Research

We learned of this unbelieavbel challenge when Rosemary O’Neill emailed insidewink and said:

“Our family is working to raise $1 million for pancreatic cancer research through a crazy walking event (my husband is personally walking 1 million steps in the month of September 2020). That’s FIVE HOURS of walking a day :)”

We had to read that twice- FIVE HOURS A DAY?!? We understand walking in circles because of the pandemic… but this? We were so impressed by their passion and drive.

Of course, we emailed them right back and learned that Ted O’Neill, Rosemary’s husband, will have to walk over 33,000 steps a day to achieve his goal. As of Sept. 2 he has already walked 63,386 steps. You can check his steps and donate to the cause on his website: OneMil.org.

Ted wrote us, “I’ll definitely be suffering this month by having to walk over 5 hours every day- there wil be days I know that will be no fun – but my own pain is nothing compared to what families dealing with this disease are going through.  I urge everyone to donate- and no donation is too small – because this is such a worthwhile cause.”

Here’s more from Ted:

One Million Steps Challenge

Please tell us a little bit about OneMil.org and its mission

The mission is to raise as much money as possible for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which attacks Pancreatic Cancer on all fronts- research, clinical initiatives, and patient services.

What inspired you to create this challenge and why it is personal to you?

I lost my father to Pancreatic Cancer about 16 years ago and my wife lost her aunt, as well, so the cause is very personal for us. It’s such a deadly disease and there is little hope for those impacted by it. IMO, Pancreatic Cancer doesn’t get nearly enough attention, so this is my small attempt to help bring awareness.

I am a fairly active walker already, so I was trying to think of a way that I could stretch my own limits for this cause while also promoting something that is good for everyone.

How are you training and getting prepared for your One Million Steps challenge?

I have been increasing my step count each month for the past 6 months.  I take long 10+ mile walks on the weekend days and then usually 8+ miles per day three times during the week. I’ve been averaging about 500k steps per month the past three months. Still, the idea of walking 18.5 miles every day (5 hours per day) is a little daunting.

“Anyone can post their own personal walking challenges on the OneMil.org website.

You can post your own monthly walking goal –

and it can be for any amount of steps that you want.”

Tell us a little bit about you and your wife. 

Rosemary and I founded and run a technology company that has an online service called Crowdstack, which is a customer engagement platform.  We’re both military brats and lived all over the country as kids.  We now live in the Charleston SC area have three teenage children.

Are you guys usually marathoners? Runners? Couch potatoes?

LOL… None of the above?  I’ve been hardcore into walking for the past few years, but we’re both usually so busy with work (and with kids) that finding the time to do things can be difficult.   I think we both realize though that you have to make time for your own health. (And, well, I am definitely making lots of time this month.)

What charity/organization will the money you raise go to?

All proceeds are going to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network via GoFundMe. It’s one of the largest Pancreatic Cancer non profits and I like the fact that they have a diverse approach to inviting their dollars, including money for patients. We are not receiving any money ourselves… the donations go straight to that organization.

“I think everybody is supporting us on this.”

“The reaction has been that it is a pretty cool idea and if it can help raise money for such a great cause then it is worthwhile.”

When does this fundraising challenge begin and end?

It began September 1st and is supposed to end at the end of the month, though I may continue indefinitely if we are short of our fundraising goal of $1 Million (and realistically, we probably will be).  I am very serious about the goal of raising $1 million for this cause, no matter how long it takes- the sooner the better though!

What is the best way for our readers to get involved and/or donate?

On our OneMil.org site, we have a link to the donation page. The donations are managed via GoFundMe and all donations are 100% tax-deductible. As mentioned before, we are not receiving any money… all money goes straight to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

The average person diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer is not only given a death sentence, but a very short one at that.  Usually, you have 6 months or less to live when you get the diagnosis.  In my father’s case, even though we knew the reality of it, we were all in denial hoping for a miracle.

Thank you Ted and the entire O’Neill family

for having the conviction to take the steps to help support Pancreatic Cancer Research.

To Donate to the One Million Steps Challenge,

please go to:


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