Melissa Pineo

I am doing the Mount Washington hike for my incredible sister Carol, who was diagnosed in early 2018 after about six weeks of excruciating back pain. An MRI revealed several compression fractures in her spine and many other lesions. Watching what she has gone through in the last year has been both soul crushing at times, and inspiring and impressive at others. I’m so glad that I was able to spend a good amount of time with her in the last year. Not an easy task since we live 2,600 miles apart. 

I’m blessed with great family and friends. Carol has been so much more than a sister to me. She has been my friend, mother figure, role model and inspiration. Her strength and determination made me want to do something to help. While doing one of my endless internet searches about multiple myeloma, I found the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation site and Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma jumped right out at me. To be able to help others through raising donations and awareness while symbolically climbing a mountain in my favorite part of the country was a no brainer.

During Carol’s appointments at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Winchester Cancer Center I was amazed at the impact research has had in the last decade for this disease. It was clear that the less than inspiring statistics I was seeing on my internet searches were changing right before our eyes. 

I’m so excited to join this team for this hike. Making it even better is my best friend will be joining us, too. Bonnie and I have been best friends since middle school. Years and distance haven’t touched our bond. Bonnie is an amazing person and has been so helpful in the last year. Putting up grab bars, fixing various things and delivering ice cream from our favorite dairy in our hometown and, most importantly, being there for both myself and Carol.

I’ve done a lot of running, biking, triathlons and hikes over the years. I’m preparing right now mostly by running and plan on hitting the local “mountains” here in Phoenix as soon as my Air Force Reserve retirement in March has passed, freeing up weekends for hiking fun. 

I can’t wait to meet the team in June and conquer Mount Washington together. Together we are helping turn this diagnosis into one of inconvenience and not devastation.
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