Alex Cavin

Bringing it Home
Monday, October 15
I participated in the MM4MM trek through my role at Celgene and initially, wasn’t sure how I would fit in with the team of patients, family members and physicians. That concern was immediately dispelled as the team opened up and shared personal stories along the trail and during late-night conversations in the cabins. I want to share one anecdote from the last day of the hike that sums up what I learned from the team and ultimately what Moving Mountains now means to me.

After spending our final night in the Fimmvorduhals hut, the group started our trek down to Skogafos along the river. We stopped for lunch and conversations started up as usual. We were in a particularly scenic area, overlooking a huge gorge with fast-running water. At a moment when conversation died down and the team was staring out at the mountains, our guide Bryndis stepped in front and proposed an idea. She told us to look across the water at the towering cliff wall on the other side of the river. It was dark black and littered with crags and outcrops. She explained that it was an Icelandic tradition to look at these cliffs and pick out images that jump out to each individual. She mentioned it’s always different and could include trolls, dragons or craggy faces based on someone’s perspective. As the team called out what they saw, I was struck by how this exercise mirrors what the trip was all about.

It would be easy to look at a towering wall like myeloma and see something dark and insurmountable, littered with things like trolls or dragons. However, every member of the trip instead looked at the myeloma wall and saw an opportunity – a challenge to face head-on and to make the cure for multiple myeloma their purpose. The ability to make a positive difference in the face of tragedy and huge odds is truly inspiring and powerful. I know I have learned from every member of the trip how to deal with seemingly impossible challenges and how to find hope and strength to drive forward.

The goal of Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, and the friendships I have formed, will be something that will motivate me long after the mud dries on my boots.
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