I am going to Nepal and Western Tibet!

In June 2012, I attended, participated in and presented a workshop at the Minnesota Cancer Alliance Cancer Summit, held at the Earl Browne Center in Minneapolis. It was a day and a half full of information on the theme of The Landscape of Change: Charting opportunities for chronic disease prevention and management in Health Reform
as it relates to achieving the overall mission of the Alliance: Reducing the Burden of Cancer in Minnesota.

The workshop I lead was on storytelling as an essential tool to navigate change. Participants went away with a different perspective on the roles of telling and listening to individual’s stories, as it relates to real life issues. Storytelling was referred to by more than one presenter during the Summit, describing it as a critical component in self-efficacy.

One of the plenary sessions, a beautiful story that hardly left a dry eye in the audience, was presented by Dr. Richard Deming, an oncologist from Des Moines, IA. Dick and an associate, Charlie Whittmark have established an organization, Above and Beyond Cancer that takes groups of cancer survivors on amazing journeys.

With funding from ACS and Livestrong, he has taken intrepid groups of cancer survivors and caregivers on treks to Everest Base Camp in 2011, to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 and and a group of cyclist on RAAM: Race Across America. His presentation was emotional and inspirational in describing the tenacity of survivors, with varying degrees of ability and disability, who endeavor to support each other in achieving aggressive goals and meeting amazing challenges. I was, needless to say, very intrigued with his program.

In my conversation with Dick following his talk, I was invited to submit an application for the journey planned in Fall 2012, a Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash in Nepal and Western Tibet. I went home, talked to my husband about this idea, and went to the website and filled out the application. And I waited.

I just found out that my application has been accepted and I am one of the very fortunate cancer survivors who will be traveling to Nepal and Western Tibet in September to make that pilgrimage. I am thrilled!

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