Grand Canyon2016


Jennifer DeChello

Fighting Back With Multiple Myeloma

December 31, 2015

I signed on to hike the Grand Canyon less than a year after my diagnosis. It was 10 months after radiation to the skull and I was still sick from endless treatments. I had received a secondary diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome and between that and ongoing treatment, I was having a hard time putting thoughts together! What I did know is that I wasn’t going to just lay down and accept what this disease “thinks” it has in store for me. Agreeing to take on the challenge was my way of fighting back. Training gave me a sense of control over my body again. I figure as long as my legs work I will use them to defeat Multiple Myeloma. I did a 5K a month after the hike and am currently planning my next adventure.

Now, six months later, I’m feeling really good! I’m very proud that I was able to complete the hike in the condition I was in. For anyone thinking of signing on for 2017: it was a challenge but certainly doable. The guides will work at your pace and I can’t say enough about them! They took such good care of us. Once you get off the plane they handle everything. You meet incredible, inspiring people. Some will be fellow patients, some will be folks that give up their time to fight this with us…amazes and humbles me. Yes, you have to train but that’s the fun part! If I could do this in the worst shape of my life, then anyone can do it!! I feel a certain obligation as one of the “healthier” patients to do my part…to keep fighting for those that couldn’t or still can’t. Inner strength goes a long way in this fight. I am not lacking in that area!

For the MMRF: a simple “thank you” will never express the gratitude in my heart for your dedication to the cause. Where would the patients be without you? Kathy, your dedication and strength, inspires and motivates me on a daily basis. I have no intention of giving in to this disease…As long as I’m able, I will be walking or hiking for the MMRF.

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