For as long as I can remember, there has never been anything my dad couldn’t do. He has always been a supportive father to my brother and I, a loving husband to my mom, and the hardest working man I know in both is personal and professional life. He always worked 40+ hour weeks and still found the time to be at every sports practice, game, and family dinner.
Although he is 71 years old you would have never guessed it. He went to the gym daily, biked long distances, and fueled his passion for the outdoors by hiking and backpacking around Washington and Southern Utah. In late 2017 he started remarking on how he was struggling to do the things that he normally did, like climb small mountains, or bike up canyons. My first reaction was “Dad, you are 71, you are probably just starting to feel your age, everyone has to slow down eventually.” But he just kept insisting that something didn’t feel right and decided to go to the doctor for some tests.
The tests were done on a Friday. On Saturday we received the worst news of our lives, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. On Sunday he was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for the next 3 months. It all happened so fast, within 48 hours all our lives were turned upside down.
Currently there is no known cure for leukemia but thanks to organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) tireless cutting-edge research is being done to advance cures. This research saves lives but it cannot be done without funding. Every dollar counts, which is why I have created this fundraiser to support the mission of the LLS: “Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
One thing my dad and I share is our love of the outdoors. Some of my best memories together are from camping trips, hikes, and time spent in the mountains. My dad has undergone several rounds of intensive chemotherapy over the last few months, and most likely still has a few more to come. Watching his body slowly weaken from it’s previously fit condition has been extremely hard to see, but he has relentlessly been working to keep his strength up as best he can. He is a fighter, always has been, always will be, but despite this I know he will not be able to go on all the adventures that he would like to this year. So I am going to do it for him.
My pledge is to hike 1,000 miles, that's 10 dollars for every mile hiked to reach my goal. So I invite you follow me on my journey and donate along the way!