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Former Steelers Player, UPMC Neurosurgeon to Chair Fundraising Hike

Former Steelers player Rocky Bleier and UPMC neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon will be the honorary chairmen of a strenuous hike in the Laurel Mountains in May.

The hike, dubbed “The Crucible,” is a 70-mile, three-day, two-night hike. The hike raises money for The Checkpoint, a nonprofit that provides supports and services for Pittsburgh-area veterans and military families.

Bleier, a four-time Super Bowl champion is also a veteran, who served in Vietnam and received both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

From experience he says that, “A lot of what is given to them on their discharge goes in one ear and out the other and they forget where to go or what best can fit their needs or what agencies are out there. So ultimately it comes back to ‘oh, where do we go?’”

Maroon sees a lot of veterans with brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder and says they express frustration with not knowing where to go to make sense of all the agencies that exist to assist them.

“They really do need the help,” he said.

The hike is free to do but they are asking for participants to seek sponsors.