My life became very interesting after being diagnosed with a fatal blood disorder called Aplastic Anemia when I was 18 years old. It was a battle that almost got me… but I came out strong and won – with the help of doctors, family and friends. I knew the battle with Aplastic Anemia was over when I was told I was in remission seven years later. What else is a girl to do when she hears a word like “remission” and realizes, all of a sudden, how close she became to never standing in that clinic parking lot where she was at that very moment thinking about this very thing?
I did what I had to do… I responded to a new lease on life by embarking on a BIG adventure… and doing my favorite thing in existence, which is backpacking. I backpacked across America (on the American Discovery Trail) in 2006 with my mom at my side, literally every step of the way. My dad and husband were a huge part of it all, too, but as the at-home support team. During the journey, we raised funds for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, spread awareness for these little-known diseases, and gave hope to other patients and families. Talk about a rewarding experience! I will never be able to match such a journey for so many reasons. But the adventures had to continue.
Since that big hike, I find myself constantly craving my next adventure, even if I don’t know what it is. My favorite thing to do is backpacking, so that’s most of what you might read about here in my blog. I also enjoy partaking in adventures that will push me beyond what I initially think my boundaries are. If I tell myself, “I don’t know if I could do that,” I often find myself wanting to try it. Proving this point, my toughest accomplishment thus far is probably the Frozen Otter. I was proud to have become the 4th person to ever finish the course! It’s a 64-mile, self-supported, foot-power-only trek through some difficult terrain in Wisconsin… in the heart of a frozen winter, overnight. It took me just around 22 hours, and I lost a few toenails in the process, but I did it.
I’m also a runner, a kayaker, a hiker, a Christian, a workout-addict, and part of a couple awesome groups of friends. I love to blog about my adventures, sharing my memories in text and pictures. I don’t have a very good memory, so I always try to journal — it’s the best way for me to look back and relive all the special moments… and if someone else reads it and enjoys it, then that makes it even more sweet! I hope you enjoy reading my story and my entries!
Speaking of pictures, here’s a few that describe me… this is the “About me” page, after all!