Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania2017

Daryl Olson

Daryl Olson

Age: 63

Hometown: Centralia, WA


My wife, Janice, was diagnosed with stage 3, high risk multiple myeloma on April 14, 2014. She had been very sick and had severe back pain. Her doctor kept treating her for back pain without doing tests or x-rays. I finally took her to the ER where they first used the words “cancer” and “multiple myeloma”. What a confusing, frightening, horrific experience. Because she was so late in being diagnosed, she was nearing kidney failure from the effect of the cancer. My heart goes out to all those who must endure such a wilderness experience. Over the next days and weeks, Janice and I had to reach deep into our faith for comfort and understanding of this new journey. God provided us with a much larger perspective. We are now so keenly aware of the fragility of life and how each day is such a huge blessing. Our days are numbered regardless of our health; we must all live with that. Janice and I put our faith in God, leaving our path in His hands.

So why did I sign-up for a Mt. Kilimanjaro wilderness experience? We want to be part of the effort to find a cure, what a wonderful legacy to leave to future generations—there have been so many exciting discoveries in just the last couple of years! Initially the doctors only gave Janice a couple of years to live, but she has responded well to the latest drugs and now after two years remains in a very good remission. We will not despair, we will not be overcome by evil, but will continue walking a path of faith and courage regardless of our life situation. We have listened to the voice of truth and we are not afraid.

Lyrics from Casting Crowns

The voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, "This is for my glory." Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

And I'll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who you are, no matter where I am, and every tear I've cried, you hold in Your hand. You never left my side and, though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.

[I] step out of my comfort zone, into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is, and He's holding out his hand.

Let my lifesong sing to you.