In December 2009, my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. It wasn’t until June 2010 that we learned that he had an extremely rare and very aggressive form of Leukemia called Denovo-PLL. If you were to try to google it, very little would come up in the search results. The only treatment option was to undergo Chemo immediately and have a stem-cell transplant (formerly known as a bone marrow transplant). I have been dealt some tough cards in my pursuit of excellence in skiing, but nothing has come close to the feelings I have felt over the last 6 months.
It didn’t take long for my family to jump into the recovery process head-on. We Hudaks aren’t known for sitting back, we like to be in the driver’s seat. With that came the responsibility of really training and preparing for the long journey ahead of us. My father created an analogy between his treatment process and climbing Everest. Pre-chemo was training, chemo was moving from Base Camp 1 to 2 to 3 and on to 4, the next step- the stem cell transplant- will be the push to the summit, and his recovery from that will be the decent back to normal grounds. It was then that we realized that everyone has their own “Everest” to conquer, it doesn’t need to be in Nepal.
I created bracelets that read “Conquer Your Everest.” I will have them with me throughout the winter to hand out to those who want them. The only thing asked in return is that these bracelets are worn with the commitment to pursuing excellence in whatever drives you, having the courage to take on challenges, and sending positive thoughts to my father.