Kristin Sumbot, a cancer survivor and Radiating Hope representative, took on the Himalayas, taking your flags to new heights! She participated with Above and Beyond Cancer, a nonprofit out of Iowa, in her own words:
Chukkung Ri sits at 18,238 feet in the Everest, Khumbu region of Nepal. We all set out together and then slowly spread out at our different paces. I had found myself walking alone, and the physicality of the hike was getting the better of me. I was struggling to catch my breath in the harsh mountain wind. I wanted to turn back. But I remember thinking I am not a quitter! If I were, then I wouldn’t be here. If I could survive cancer and high dose chemotherapy, then I could do this! The mountains surrounding us were like majestic sleeping giants. resonated the whole valley with a quiet reverence. As I reached the group, our leader, Dr. Demming, greeted me with a big hug saying, “You are so strong, I am so proud of you."
As I gazed out into the mountain valley a wave of self recognition hit me. I had come full circle with having cancer. I used to feel that cancer had made me a stranger to myself. After cancer I had a glimpse of who I had become; strong, confident, seeing life in a new way. But I still had insecurities. Living a full life was something that I wanted and pursued. However the traumatic scars left behind from cancer made it hard for me to do so The reward of completing the physical challenge of Chukkung Ri disproved my doubts, and erased those insecurities.
I was looking out at who I had become and the life that I could live if I could embrace the trials and adventure that come with it. Cancer had closed all the right doors and pointed me in the direction of how I wanted to live life. And it does feel like you are on top of the world.