Jeffrey & Silva Zonder

It's All We Can Think About
Friday, January 19
As our trek through Nepal’s Khumbu region to Everest Base Camp approaches, it seems like sometimes it is all we can think and talk about. How is training going? How are we going to be sure we’ve packed everything we need? Is there gear we still need to pick up? How many days into the trip will it be before Jeff topples backwards into a squat toilet? Basically, the critical questions.

But we are also filled with a sense of growing excitement and purpose. In 2016, we were fortunate to be part of another Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (MM4MM) hike to Machu Picchu. The way in which the shared sense of mission in raising myeloma awareness and research funding morphed into one of physical endurance and determination is really like nothing else we’ve been part of. This upcoming trip to Everest and Kalapathhar will undoubtedly be that and more. 

As of the moment of this writing, our hiking group has raised over $300,000 towards multiple myeloma research … and we’re still scrambling for more.  Most importantly, we are doing the hike together with inspiring myeloma survivors — including one cared for at the Karmanos Cancer Institute, John Raithel.

Climbing to the top of 14,000-foot Mount Democrat in Colorado on a training hike last summer with John was an unforgettable day, and we can’t wait for our next training hike with John and his wife Linda in Sedona, Arizona next month. But it was another shared moment which reminds us why we do what we do at Karmanos: a snapshot John sent Jeff, of Linda holding their beautiful smiling granddaughter … a moment which, at one time, may have seemed as unlikely as climbing to Everest Base Camp.

More moments, for all patients with multiple myeloma.

So we’ll continue to scramble – in clinic, as myeloma researchers, raising funds, and up mountains – until there is cure for John and others with multiple myeloma.  

 
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