Valerie Cekovsky

In November 2014 I lost my mother unexpectedly to multiple myeloma. She had been struggling with the disease for three years and unfortunately the biggest problem was finding a treatment that would agree with her. Either the chemo would be working but she would feel awful, or she would feel great but the chemo wouldn’t work at all. Her kidneys started to fail and there wasn’t much to do at that point. She accepted her fate and passed the day before Thanksgiving in her sleep without telling any of us that she was on the brink of death. I’m the youngest of four children and the only girl, so dealing with her loss has been tough in many ways.

My brothers and I have been looking for the right way to honor our mom for years now, but we can’t seem to agree on what to do. I stumbled upon the MMRF website a couple of years ago but never acted on anything. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself back on the website and intrigued by the Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma program and decided to look into it some more. When I saw that they were going to Patagonia this year, I had to apply. I’ve not only been wanting to go to Patagonia, but I knew that this would be the perfect way to honor my mom coming up on the five-year anniversary of her death, and to kick-start our efforts to create a scholarship in her name.

I am humbled by the opportunity to be a part of this team and to raise money for research and awareness of a disease that took my mother’s life when it didn’t have to. I am grateful to be joined by a group of inspired people that are also on the same mission. This will be an incredible journey and I am really looking forward to the challenge of it all. The challenge of fundraising, the challenge of the hike, and the challenge to get the word out about multiple myeloma.
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