Havasu Falls/Grand Canyon Trek2018

Patti Bivona

I was diagnosed with smoldering myeloma several years ago. I have been a runner for a number of years, doing 10K and half marathon events. After my diagnosis, I ran in an event where there was a fundraising team for MMRF. I was interested in what they were doing and spoke with one of the members who told me about the endurance events through MMRF. I signed up for one of the half marathons for fundraising and have been following what they do for a while. Last year, I saw the hiking fundraisers, and I knew that was something I wanted to be involved in. I joined the Mt. Fuji team, and it was such an incredible experience for so many reasons. Getting to know the other patients, caregivers and family members, as well as the medical professionals was amazing. Working together to raise funds and to make it through the difficult hike really formed a team and friendship. It was really special - so special I wanted to do it again. Only I guess this time it's in reverse! Down instead of up, up instead of down. And what an amazing place to go!

Having smoldering myeloma, I am luckier than most patients. I currently have no symptoms impacting my day-to-day life, but I also know that this can change rapidly. I no longer take "someday" for granted. Helping to find treatments and hopefully a cure are so important to my future. Anything I can do to help, I will.

I live in Colorado, and mountain hiking is very accessible. However, I am so thrilled to be going to one of the most incredible places in our country. I've never hiked down the Grand Canyon, and the steepness will certainly challenge me. But the reward will be worth the journey - both the beauty of the place and the research into finding a cure. It is great to have this as a motivation.

I am utterly thrilled to be a part of this team!

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