Mount Fuji2017

Kelley M. Ward

Name: Kelley M. Ward
Age: 27
Hometown: Wilton, CT
Reason for Climbing: To Raise Funds for a Cure for Cancer and Proudly Serve as Our Team Manager

I started to work for the MMRF in April 2014 and quickly became deeply inspired by our mission and the patients and family members that I have come to know and love through this wonderful organization. For me, to work somewhere that I feel is truly making a difference in extending the lives of so many loved ones, makes a powerful impact on the passion I bring to work every day. And now, I am so honored to finally be a part of this program as a team participant and fundraiser for the very first time! Having managed the 2016 Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek Team I got to see and experience (from afar) what this climb encapsulates; although grand and still mysterious and nerve-racking in some ways, when the opportunity presented itself for me to participate on the 2017 climb, I knew "Yes!" had to be my answer.

This is an intimidating but empowering undertaking for me and I look forward to learning a lot and training as much as I can to take on this incredible mountain. I was a Recreation Programming major at Ohio University for undergrad and prior to that, in high school, I hiked to the summit of Mount St. Helen's, but this will be a challenge unlike any other for me. I hope to draw mental strength from the patients we support each day as well as my own family and friends. The vigor and powerful thinking that bursts out from the hearts & minds of our patients and our athletes that support them so enthusiastically could carry anyone to the top, but having a parent who's had cancer twice, I know personally just how important it is to find a cure, and to find it NOW. This focus and dedication to a cure is what makes the MMRF different and what will make a difference in my journey to the summit in February.

Go Big or Go Home, right?! I can't wait to take on all that is ahead of us!

Thank you to all of my teammates for taking on this challenge, inspiring so many, and thank you to all of our supporters!