Friday, November 14, 2008

Trekking for Debbie

I have a favor to ask of you.

It's not about money (although that would be nice) and it won't require you to do anything physical. I'd just like to raise a little collective energy and good will, and send a little love to some special people in my life.

Every day for roughly the last two weeks, my phone rings at roughly six in the morning. No, it's not a prankster.

It's a call from a satellite phone, coming from the Himalayan Mountains.

Let me explain...
Back in early May, I wrote a post about my sister-in-law, Debbie, who had just been diagnosed with stage IV gastric cancer. To say that she's been on my mind since then is an understatement.

There isn't a day that passes, especially if I'm having a bad day in my woodshop, when I don't think of her and marvel at her courage and mental toughness. Being reminded of her strength usually snaps me back into shape and ends all of my complaints.

Sort of like being slapped by Cher, yelling "snap out of it!"

Back when we learned of Debbie's diagnosis, another family member (Jill) was planning a trek to Mt. Everest. Her trek had the awesome goal of reaching Mt. Everest's base camp (or EBC), a staging area for hikers who plan on making an ascent and descent to the top of Mt. Everest. With an altitude of 17,600 ft, it's an amazing feat to simply make it to base camp!

While many people have written about the EBC trek, Jill decided to dedicate her efforts toward raising funds for cancer awareness and research. She started Trekking for Debbie, a site that will hopefully (in Jill's words) - raise awareness & hopefully funds for cancer research.

Jill set a goal of raising $29,029, which is the height of Mt. Everest.

She started training for her trek more than a year ago, first by joining several local hiking groups here in Las Vegas. After she became familiar with the local hiking areas, she often hiked alone. To the top of Mt. Charleston, or Turtlehead peak, or even little Lone Mountain, a small "hill" nearby that she could tackle as a quick work-out. On her Trekking for Debbie website, she's posted her hiking log, an amazing chart of all of her work preparing for this climb.

I feel exhausted just reading it!

Along the way, Jill started receiving some amazing support for other hikers, both near and far. Jon Miller, of the video postcast site The Rest of Everest, was kind enough to loan Jill his satellite phone. Every other morning or so, Jill uses the phone to record a podcast and put it onto her Trekking for Debbie site, so that people can listen to her daily activities.

Jill's latest podcast, recorded just last night, discusses reaching her goal - Everest Base Camp. Wow.

John Miller's podcasts are nothing short of amazing, his very first podcast might get you hooked, much as it did to Jill. She stumbled upon his website, and started listing to his podcasts during her daily workout. One of the reason's she's in the Himalayan mountains right now is directly attributable to Jon's highly addictive videos, featuring his experiences while trekking.

I highly recommend checking out Jon's videos, they're amazing. They almost make a non-hiker like me want to try it.

Well, not really, but they're fascinating.

(These pictures were taken in Katmandu, just before Jill started her trek.)

Yes, that's a sacred cow being carried through the streets.

So here's the deal - I need your help.

I'd like you to visit Trekking for Debbie and send some love and energy. It might mean just a simple comment on the site, or a few dollars to Sloan Kettering or the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or some words of encouragement to Debbie.


I'd like to flood her site with love and support, if that's possible.

Here's what I'll do.

Back in May, I donated the proceeds of something that I sold on Etsy to Bri, a lovely food blogger, who was courageously fighting breast cancer. There was an amazing fundraiser for Bri, and the food blogging community really stepped up to help her out. The outpouring of love and support, from complete strangers across the planet was nothing short of amazing.

So I'd like to throw that offer out there again - this time, to help someone in my own family.

I'll donate the proceeds of the next thing that sells on Etsy to the Trekking for Debbie website.
Here's your chance to really spread some good will around, and maybe even do a little early holiday shopping. Think of how cool one of my platters might look on your dinner table.

And think of how great it would be for Debbie to beat her biggest mountain to climb - cancer.

Sort of makes climbing Everest seem like a walk in the park.

1 comment:

cynthia said...

Wow - what an amazing story and you're right, if Debbie can beat cancer, she can do anything!

I have a fascination with Mt. Everest and have watched all the documentaries of different hiking expeditions. I'm not sure if I'd ever want to do it - my hubby does. Nepal and the Himalayas are on my list of places to visit in my lifetime.

I'll go visit the link you added now...