Stan Wagner

One Personal Mountain at a Time
Thursday, January 11
Stan Wagner on Kilimanjaro
Me on Kilimanjaro
Six years ago I would not have thought I’d be writing about participating in an adventure of a lifetime. I also would never have thought I’d be diagnosed with an incurable cancer.

I’ve been lucky to have had a great response to the drugs I am taking that the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) helped to get approved. Early in my treatment it wasn’t clear whether or not I’d need a stem cell transplant. But, since starting treatment in February 2013 and achieving “complete response” in June 2013, I’m still in complete remission with no sign of cancer.

The last couple of years has been an opportunity to give back. As cancer patients, we all have our own mountains to climb. Whether it’s just getting up in the morning and walking to the corner store or, actually climbing a mountain. I’ve been honored to be able to take part in another Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma trek. Climbing Kilimanjaro was a life-altering experience. Going to Mount Everest will be just as amazing. Finding a cure for multiple myeloma is the real goal. Climbing mountains or trekking toward the base of one is the means to bring awareness and donations.

I’m doing this to prove to myself that I can. That it inspires other cancer patients to climb their own mountains is humbling and just as important.

Meeting my new mountain family this past July while on a practice climb in Colorado was wonderful. I knew we’d be family forever.

Listening to what other patients have gone through, I am truly blessed to have gotten to where I am with minimal issues. I don’t take it for granted. Just as quickly as it disappeared, it can return. 
Thankfully, I’ve got a wonderful support system. My wife has been by my side throughout this journey. Family and friends have been there for me as well. And, I can’t forget my doctor and the staff at Mount Sinai’s Multiple Myeloma Program. Always there to help answer questions.

And now I’ve got two new families. One from my climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. And, one from our trek to Mount Everest.

One foot at a time. One day at time. One personal mountain at a time.
 
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View our interviews with climber Chuck Wakefield