In December 2009 my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. It wasn’t until the following June 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 had come close to the feelings I have felt over the 6 months that followed his diagnosis. 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- was 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” and gave them to friends and supporters that next winter of 2011. The only thing I asked in return was that the bracelets were worn with the commitment of pursuing excellence in whatever drives you, having the courage to take on challenges, and sending positive thoughts to my father.
Below is the poem that I wrote when thinking about what it takes to overcome challenges & obstacles that often fall in the path of our dreams.
CONQUER YOUR EVEREST