Mount Fuji2017


Amy Freeze

From the Flat Midwest to Mount Fuji

June 5, 2017

I’m really looking forward to the Mount Fuji Trek, particularly to be a part of Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma to support the work the MMRF.

I’m an on-air television news Meteorologist for WABC-TV in NYC and first got involved with the organization while doing a story. I'm also a runner (9-time marathoner) and was able to share a story on TV about New Yorker Eric Gelber and his quest to run 200 miles in Central Park (nonstop), Journey Towards a Cure. (If you don’t know him, I’ll save that story for our climb conversations!)

As I became friends with the Gelber “Crew,” admiring their efforts to support MMRF, my sister was diagnosed with a serious form of melanoma (not myeloma). Our family went through what most families do – concern, fear, and of course, a motivation to do everything possible to help. My sister became one of the names on Eric Gelber’s 2nd attempt at 200 miles in Central Park. Her treatment included surgery, chemo,and a brand new trial program. I don’t know much about medicine, but I do know is that just released research and that new discovery gave us HOPE. I realized that the search for cures is happening now, everyday. Finding answers and fighting for solutions is a reality. Lindsay says, "My clinical trial researchers, physicians, family and Heavenly Father have made this possible," as she is now cancer free 2 years (July 1st, 2017.)

The brilliance in the MMRF’s approach to myeloma is changing options for EVERYONE faced with cancer. My interest and devotion to the precious efforts of the MMRF have continued to intensify and the stories I hear do connect with me on a deeply personal level. I am very proud to join a trek supporting the mission that urgently moves us closer to cures.

Just a little more, about my perspective on mountains and how they motivate me....
I grew up in the Midwest. It was so flat! We had a “hilly” section of Southern Indiana nearby– the hills so wimpy we called them knobs, aka Floyd Knobs, Indiana… (I actually lived a few towns over in flat Jeffersonville, Indiana on the Ohio River.)

I share this to give you a frame of reference, so you can understand the shock and awe I felt each summer when my parents took us to the Rocky Mountains where my grandparents lived in Provo, Utah. I remember being curious about the mountains, I remember times they were overwhelming – almost scary.

I looked at the snow-topped mountains in June and wondered – what is it like up there, what would I do at the top, how hard would it be to climb, has anyone ever reached the top, what’s on the other side… and my imagination would run wild. Even though I loved the valley where we celebrated the summer with family, my young mind wandered to what a mountaintop must be like. Eventually, I would hike some of those mountains including the famous “Y” mountain of painted rock… a challenging switchback up near Provo Canyon.

As I got older, I found mountains of my own! Not the kind you climb, the kind you face: challenges, opportunities, decisions, disagreements, new beginnings and more. I don’t remember ever thinking that these circumstances were too difficult (very tough at times and lots of questioning WHY IS THIS THE PATH for me). I have had to work out in my mind how I would face that particular mountain at that particular time. In a way, I think I look at “problems” or “issues” or “hard stuff” like I look at mountains. I wonder how tough it is to get there; will I be happy with the view? These unknowns are a part of life.

Every time I get up a mountain or solve a challenge-- I'm in awe at the things I see and understand. Every kind of trek is an inspiration. I believe that the quest to conquer any mountain brings us a wisdom unmatched; We grow the most when we embrace the mountain, rather than if we had never seen the mountain at all.

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