Machu Picchu2016


Lisa La

Motivation to Push Forward

August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 26

It has been about a week since I have been back and many people have been asking how it was. Hiking Machu Picchu was an indescribable experience and I still struggle to find the right words to paint the picturesque scenery and the emotions that I experienced. To be able to witness the immense strengths that everyone had — especially the patients and their caregivers — throughout the seven hour hike created an unspoken comradery between us. There were a lot of words of encouragement and great support that really helped each other conquer the “crying stairs” to reach the end of the hike. To echo Dr. Zonder, if someone was walking by, they would not have been able to distinguish who was a patient or not. We were simply just a group of friends hiking.

For me, having the opportunity to share stories, conversations, bottles of wine (thanks John, Cindi and Melissa), tears and jokes (mostly from Michael) with everyone — especially the patients and caregivers — these are the things I will always remember. The journey also has confirmed that I made the right decision in choosing this profession. It has given me more motivation to keep pushing the research forward as each clinical trial and each patient means we are one step closer to understanding and finding the cure for myeloma.

I would like to thank everyone, especially the MMRF, Takeda and CURE for making this a memorable and meaningful trip.

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