Grand Canyon2016


Karuppiah Kannan

We Conquered the Canyon

December 31, 2015

Wow! What a day! We just completed conquering the canyon and I'm trying to process what we just went through in the day. Wow! Going in, I was a little bit nervous about the hike, and I could see my teammates were also a little bit nervous. Fifteen minutes into the hike, almost everyone's nerves calmed down and started relaxing, enjoying and taking in the majestic view this canyon was offering. At the rim, my thoughts were: We've already seen the canyon from the rim and yeah, it is majestic, how more magnificent can it get? But, we were all in for a treat, as every step you take down towards the canyon floor, the view got better and better and better. As we were there for eight to nine hours, the sun had been lighting up the canyon in different ways at every hour of the day, treating us to a very different looking scene every time. When I signed up for this event, I didn't expect it to be a grueling and challenging event — both physically and mentally. Oh my, I was so wrong. There were multiple challenges throughout the day: the initial descent, in which we tired out the very muscles we needed to climb back up, the sun, temperature shifts, rain, wind and the 9,000-foot vertical challenge — these all made it more challenging and exciting.

We were moving mountains, but at the end of the day, the mountains moved us. We were moving mountains and making connections. We connected with each other: researchers, caregivers, family members and "living proofs," media personnel, guides, Alicia from MMRF — and the biggest connection of all was the connection with nature. There are people behind every label we give patients, caregivers, etc. Through this event, all of us saw the people behind these labels and the connection to people is what is going to last a long time. It all came together nicely. Nobody was left behind as we all waited for each other to hike together and finish together — emphasizing the team spirit. We even got to meet people outside of our team who were so interested in knowing the cause of our mission to raise funds to cure cancer!

Special thanks to Donna, Jen and Frederic for being the center of this event and toughing it out, despite their physical challenges. Caregivers like Michelle, Vishnu, Véronique, Erin, George, Gri and Bud for the spirited effort, media personnel — Marty, Mariana and especially Ben and John (who probably did four times the hike) — and last but not the least, our guides Alex, Mac, Bud, Ginger, Lenny and our fearless leader Gene, all deserve special thanks. I can't close out the blog without mentioning Alicia, as she was the brains behind the whole operation and the connecting link to each one of us. Alicia, you are the best! I hope everyone on the team had the greatest sense of accomplishment by completing this physically tormenting challenge, but I want to remind everyone that the true sense of accomplishment should come from the most important funds we've raised to find a cure for cancer! Go Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma team!

- Kannan

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