Alicia O'Neill
Alicia O'Neill

Thanks to All Who Have Helped Us Move the Mountain
Sunday, August 14
On Friday, our team of 20 pushed up a steep hill with thousands of stone steps to reach Machu Picchu. It was HARD, yet we enjoyed every minute of it! Why? Because we have gotten to know each other — patients, caregivers, a myeloma doctor, nurses, hospital administrators, Takeda, CURE, MMRF representatives — and took this challenge on together. And because we brought so many of our loved ones and supporters with us — in our minds and in our hearts — on this journey. Indeed, it was those people who helped us reach the top!

We started as strangers and over the course of these four days, have learned each other's stories, laughed, cried, and stood in absolute awe looking at the wonder of what we have achieved and at the breathtaking beauty of all of Peru.

One of the days we had a tour of the Sun Temple in Ollyantatambo, Peru, en route to Aquas Calliente, our trail head. We witnessed the beautiful temple and surrounding terraces and learned about how these temple walls were constructed. What blew my mind was trying to understand how the Incas could cut a huge slab of granite from a mountain on the OTHER side of the river and then transport it down that mountain, across the river and then up THIS mountain to build the temple. Some of the rock slabs weighed more than 50 tons! How do they do that without the use of even the wheel? Answer: They did it with teamwork and coordination and muscle and determination. They used ropes and at times had hundreds of people pulling on that rope to move the piece of the mountain up the incredibly steep terrain.

So the Inca workers were actually moving mountains — a metaphor for what we are doing out here in Peru. We were 20 people climbing up a steep mountain. But above us, pulling, were our supporters. Hundreds of friends, co-workers and business colleagues, family members, doctors, nurses, and more were pulling us up that mountain with an invisible rope that helped us get to our glorious goal. Yes, we are Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma — with so many others pulling that rope to get us here and to help fund research that will save lives and improve quality of life.

We thank you!
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