“You can get caught up in the pain but there are people around you that are suffering. Climb a little bit harder. Take bigger steps. Reach the top in confidence,” reflects Greg Telesco on his trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro this past June.
Greg Telesco wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for over 10 years before his dream became a reality. It wasn’t until his co-worker Ashley Cogswell sent an email about Radiating Hope, which included information on one of their annual fundraiser trips to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Radiating Hope is a non-profit with the mission of improving cancer care, specifically radiation oncology care, around the globe. One of their fundraising methods is taking people on a variety of international trips with Mt. Kilimanjaro being one of the destinations.
With the email sparking his interest, Telesco read information packets about the Mt. Kilimanjaro trip which led him to Radiating Hope’s website where he learned more about the non-profit. As he read through the information on the website he thought of how neat of an experience it would be to climb Kili and do a safari in the same trip all while helping a developing country improve its cancer care.
Greg Telesca works with Elekta, a company that pioneers in significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer. Elekta has been an amazing support to Radiating Hope, helping us in providing cancer care in several developing countries. He works primarily with the software, which means he works on a clinical-customer base. Elekta is committed to delivering software that will help clinics provide the best care and information for every patient treated for cancer or brain disorders. Telesco is always looking for opportunities to promote and spread the word about Radiating Hope. His career brings him fulfillment, as he gets to help save lives everyday.
Telesco will be in attendance of Radiating Hope’s ASTRO event in Boston this coming weekend. The ASTRO event shows attendees Radiating Hope’s current projects and their goals for the upcoming year. They provide information on the international fundraising trips, which includes the Kilimanjaro Climb. For those not interested in the mountaineering trips, this event also addresses other ways people can get involved with Radiating Hope.
When asked how he started training for Mt. Kilimanjaro Telesco recommends reading the packets in detail so participants know exactly what the trip entails. He also recommends going on multiple day hikes especially if you live near the mountains, which helped prepare him for Mt. Kilimanjaro. Telesco explains, “It took me several months of training. I knew that the altitude would play a big factor and adapting to it would be a bit of a challenge.”
He isn’t new to hiking due to his love of the outdoors. A few years ago he was able to climb Mt. Rainer in Washington. He loves to back country ski, hike, and camp. One day Telesco would love to climb Denali.
“There were so many favorites on this trip! I didn’t think the trip was what it was going to be. The summit was not the type of reward I thought it was going to be,” Telesco said.
He then goes on to say that the people who accompanied him on the trip were the most rewarding part because they were the biggest inspirations to him.
“Even the porters, who carried everything were inspiring. They were always smiling, laughing with everyone and knuckle bumping people all the time,” Telesco said.
Greg Telesco claims that even though the climb itself was hard, especially descending, he said that saying goodbye was the hardest part for him.
“The encouragement and that type of experience creates such a special bond with the people you are immeasurable. You see the see the struggles of others, which helps you realize that your struggles might not be as bad as you thought they were.”
Telesco’s trip made him realize that people take so much for granted. As Americans we truly don’t need as much as much as we think we do. From the trip Telesco is more aware and appreciative of what he has.
Telesco remembers walking through the town of Arusha and seeing the poverty stricken town and the poor infrastructure. However, when it came to the people who lived in the town, they were always smiling, engaged with everything that was going on around them, and just beamed of happiness.
Greg Telesco advises those wanting to participate in the climb that, “If you are going to commit, be seriously committed! Make sure you train properly in advance. The more time you have the better off you are and the more comfortable it will be for you.”
Another piece of advice Telesco gives is to keep yourself open to experiences around you so they can inspire you. As the climb gets harder remember why you started it, remember why you wanted to do this.
“I love Radiating Hope because it brings hope to people who desperately need it.”