Jeff Stiles

Name: Jeff  Stiles
Ages: 49
Hometown: Kodak, TN

It was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend in 2014. My wife and daughter were with me when a doctor, whom I’d never met, walked into the exam room and asked me the question that changed my life: “Have you ever heard of multiple myeloma?” Of course, none of us had, and as the doctor began introducing me to my new constant companion, my wife and daughter quickly turned to their phones to find out more. As the doctor continued to speak, I couldn’t help but notice that they were both turning pale and starting to cry. It didn’t seem real, they’d later tell me. Their husband and father had just been diagnosed with an incurable cancer.
That was over four years ago. Since then, I’ve struggled to get my kidneys healthy, gone through induction therapy and endured an autologous stem cell transplant. But, I’ve also done some other things. I’ve found hope, support and inspiration. I’ve found it in other patients, in the doctors and nurses that I’ve met, in the incredibly strong manner that my family has loved and cared for me. But I’ve also found it in the mountains, on the trails and in the quiet of nature as I’ve been so blessed to experience. While I’ve always used it as an escape from my reality, I’ve also found others along the way with the same diagnosis and those who are committed to helping people like me.

That’s how I found the MMRF. While looking for ways to help myself, I found other people who also wanted to help. In fact, they wanted to help so much that they wanted to climb mountains! That’s when I knew I’d found an organization I had to be a part of. So much so that I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with them in 2016, and I’m looking forward to going to Nepal for an even greater challenge: reach Everest Base Camp! While hiking to the best of Everest is not the biggest challenge in my life, I hope my climb will inspire others to climb their own mountains, especially those mountains that no one else can see.
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Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

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