Sixth Annual Cynthia's Challenge 24 Hour Ski-A-Thon for Sylis Heck


East Madison, N.H. (November 21, 2018): Cynthia’s Challenge is excited to announce the next beneficiary of the 24-Hour Ski-A-Thon to be held at King Pine Ski Area in East Madison, New Hampshire March 15-16, 2019. Funds raised with this year’s event will benefit Effingham, New Hampshire’s Sylis Heck, a six-year-old boy who was diagnosed with “Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy” or HIE which in turn left him with many other diagnoses including: epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and spastic quadriplegia. Sylis is nonverbal, and legally blind and deaf and has endured countless surgeries and hospital stays. Sylis’ life revolves around these appointments and as he continues to grow, his family’s transportation needs have changed and they need a wheelchair van to help move him in and out of the vehicle.  This year’s goal is to raise $65,000 to purchase Sylis’ family a wheelchair accessible van.

Sylis had a difficult journey from the very beginning of his life when his mother suffered from the condition placenta abruption and Sylis went without oxygen in the womb for over twelve hours causing an emergency-C section during which the umbilical cord was nicked and Sylis lost his blood supply, after a blood transfusion and twenty minutes of CPR, Sylis was revived, a cooling process was done for 72 hours to stop further brain damage and was put on life support. Sylis’ parents decided the quality of life would not be there for him to live in a hospital and decided to take him off life support and by a miracle and sheer will of Sylis, he kept breathing. Sylis’ step-mother, Shelly, is now the primary care giver to Sylis and she and her husband Chris with their other children, Logan (4), Connor (8) and Mia (3) care for Sylis. A wheelchair accessible van would be of incredible assistance to the Heck family to get Sylis and his brothers and sisters to their daily activities and appointments.

Now in its sixth year, Cynthia’s Challenge 24-Hour Ski-A-Thon has raised over $246,000 to benefit children and their families. Starting in 2014, Cynthia Verrill was the first benefactor and this resulted in her name being used to name the event. $35,000 raised for Cynthia was used to provide a seizure detecting service dog. The second year, the event raised over $35,000 for Samantha Gillard who was in need of a wheel chair accessible van and the third year raised $61,000 for Kevin Dall to purchase a wheel chair accessible van and the fourth year raised over $50,000 for Faith Holt to purchase a wheel chair accessible van, and the fifth year raised $65,000 for Jacques Villeneuve with more than 300 skiers and snowboarders participating to purchase a handicap van.

Cynthia’s Challenge was created in an effort to ease the financial burden upon children and their families associated with specialty medical needs. King Pine Ski Area supports Cynthia’s Challenge with the support of local business and the surrounding community.

For those that would like to contribute to this year’s Cynthia’s Challenge, online donations are welcome at . For more information, please call Purity Spring Resort at (603) 367-4084 or email