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Phoenix man hiking Arizona Trail to fundraise for cancer research

Staff Report~ 10/15/2014

PHOENIX – When Chip Tolleson of Phoenix learned his longtime friend Pete Kuehner, 53, was diagnosed with brain cancer, he wanted to help – but how? The answer came by way of the Arizona Trail. Tolleson, 56, plans to hike the 800-plus mile trail on foot to honor his friend and raise money for brain cancer research at Barrow Neurological Institute.

 “Having known PK and his family for years, and having been on numerous trips with him, we always seem to have a great adventure,” said Tolleson. “When PK was diagnosed with cancer, the courage he displayed inspired me to do something not only for him but for everyone battling cancer.”

As a full-time businessman, Tolleson doesn’t have the time to hike the trail nonstop, instead, planning to tackle 8- to 34-mile sections, with the goal of finishing the journey by the end of 2016. He’s already hiked nearly 100 miles.

Tolleson is covering his own expenses on this venture but invites others to join him on the bigger quest to support brain cancer research. Donations are accepted at for Barrow Neurological Institute, which is where Kuehner has been receiving treatment since his diagnosis in July 2013.

Tolleson’s progress will be followed on Facebook (Foundations of St. Joseph’s), where he’ll also share pictures and stories of his encounters along the trail.

“Taking on the Arizona Trail will be an adventure, but more importantly I want to raise money for Barrow to find better brain cancer treatments and – ultimately – a cure. That’s what I want more than anything for my friend Pete Kuehner and anyone else suffering with this disease,” Tolleson said.

To make a donation supporting brain cancer research, visit or call (602) 406-3041.