The team enjoyed a training hike in July 2019 at Mt. Hood, Oregon where they had an opportunity to meet, connect and bond before the upcoming Patagonia hike.
Lupe Duarte, Multiple Myeloma Project Manager for the City of Hope, will soon be hiking over glaciers and deep valleys in Patagonia. Her trek will touch the lives of many, raise funds for cancer research and honor those who have survived, live with or died from this type of cancer. The 13-member team will consist of individuals who have a direct connection to multiple myeloma: patients, caregivers, family members of patients, and those who work directly with myeloma patients. The trip is scheduled for November 9-18.
At age 46, Lupe has been the COH Multiple Myeloma Project Manager since 2009. “I am hiking to honor all of our multiple myeloma patients at City of Hope and to honor the memory of all cancer fighters, including my own family member and friends who have beat cancer. Lastly, I’m hiking to honor our beloved Dr. Arti Hurria, as she was not only a close collaborator of our Program but also an amazing mentor to many of us and most importantly, a friend with such spirit and light!”
Preparing for the trek, Lupe awakes at 3:30 a.m. every weekday to work out at a gym for cardio training and endurance. Patagonia will be her second MMRF hike, as she participated in the Grand Canyon Trek in May of 2017. The Patagonia team recently took a practice trek to Mt. Hood in Oregon where they hiked on ice and snow. The upcoming South America trek will be a first for her in many ways. “I have never been out of the Country,” she admits. “and just received my first passport. I’m looking forward to seeing a condor in Patagonia, a bird I have never seen.”
The Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (“MM4MM”) program sponsors are the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (“MMRF”), CURE Media Group and Celgene. They offer this opportunity to allow the team a life-changing experience as the members overcome challenges beyond their perceived limit and honors loved ones and friends living with multiple myeloma. Lupe is convinced that the MM4MM team is living proof that the work being done by the MMRF and its research partners helps myeloma patients live longer and more active lives.
Myeloma is a relatively rare cancer, accounting for around 10 percent of blood cancer cases. It often affects the aged and most cases are diagnosed in people age 65 and older. Although myeloma grows within bone, it is not considered bone cancer. Lupe has more than 23 years of experience in clinical research, which allows her to watch many of the advances and see the importance of research.
Research comes at a high monetary price. Therefore, the Patagonia trek and those like it are also geared to raising funds. Team members pledge to raise a minimum of $10,000 per person and are responsible for a majority of the costs involved in the trip. Friends, family, patients, social media friends and the public sponsor team members. The link to her fundraising page is: https://endurance.themmrf.org/2019Patagonia/LupeFaithMovesMountains
Lupe will follow up when she returns from Patagonia. In the meantime, she says: “Please support my participation in the Patagonia Trek benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $10,000 and I will need your help to get there. More importantly, patients need these funds to extend their lives while we closer and closer to a cure.”