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About Cynthia's Challenge

Posted On
Jan 8 2016

Cynthia’s Challenge was created in an effort to help ease the financial burden of children and their families encountering the staggering expenses associated with specialty medical needs. King Pine Ski Area supports Cynthia’s Challenge by hosting a 24 hour ski-a-thon with the support of local business and the community.


Since its inception, $69,000 has been raised through the efforts of the 24 hour events. The first year, March 2014, Cynthia Verrill of Effingham, NH received $35,000 in donations for a seizure detecting service dog. Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers has provided the Verrill family with a 2 year old yellow lab named "King" Jersey for Cynthia.


Cynthia was born with tuberous sclerosis - also called tuberous sclerosis complex. TSC is a rare, multi-system genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and on other vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs and skin. It usually affects the central nervous system and results in a combination of symptoms including seizures, developmental delay, behavioral problems, skin abnormalities and kidney disease. There is no cure for TSC, although treatment is available for a number of the symptoms. With a service dog, seizures can be detected before the onset, which has allowed Cynthia to live life more independently. Within hours of his arrival to the Verrill home, "King" Jersey had already alerted Cynthia's parents that a small seizure was about to occur. 


The second year, January 2015, the event raised $34,000 for Samantha Gillard who was in need of a wheel chair accessible van. Samantha, 7, is the daughter of Jenny and Geoff of Newton, MA and granddaughter of Tex Gillard, a long time ski patroller at King Pine Ski Area. The family has grown up on the slopes of King Pine.  At 9 months old, Samantha was diagnosed with Rett syndrome.  Rett syndrome is a rare and unique developmental disorder.  As the syndrome progresses, most children lose purposeful use of their hands and the ability to speak. Other symptoms may include loss of motor skills, breathing and cardiac irregularities, seizures, digestive problems, scoliosis, and tremors.  With a wheelchair accessible van, the Gillard family will be able to continue to travel together and will provide Samantha with a much happier, safer and fuller life.


In 2015, 133 skiers and snowboarders from all over New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and one who traveled all the way from West Des Moines, Iowa participated in this 24-hour event and 60 volunteers helped pull it all off! 

View WMTW's coverage from the past event online!


Cynthia's Challenge for Kevin is March 18-19th from 4pm - 4pm. 

Registration & Pledge Form (PDF)

Event Flyer (PDF)

Donate Online! 

Thank you for your support! 

The Hoyt Family


Thank you to our sponsors!

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