Courage: The Ultimate Journey of Hope and Faith
Thanks for visiting Merrily’s Ultimate Hike page!
I am participating in a true ultimate challenge - hiking to raise funds for children's cancer and with your help, I can surpass my fundraising goal! Please, make a donation and make a difference in the lives of the 43 children diagnosed with cancer each day. The hike is a trek of 28.3 miles on the Foothills Trails crossing through North and South Carolina. I will be joining approximately 100 hikers on April 27, 2019 setting off at 3:00 in the morning. I need your support to get started on this amazing journey and help tell pediatric cancer to take a hike.
I’ve been interested in hiking for CureSearch for a few years. I had a friend hike a shorter distance a few years back and I wanted to do it so much but I truly didn’t think I was capable. Every excuse ran though my brain. I’m not strong enough. Not fit enough. Not tough enough. I didn’t have time. So I donated quite a bit of money for my friend and then aggressively followed CureSearch for a few years now. Even dedicating my son’s September birthday to go gold every year since he was born in pediatric cancer month.
After the most mind altering and devastating year of my life, I can’t tell you how motivated I am to take to the trail to tell children’s cancer to hit the road. The calendar year of 2018 passed and 2019 opened its arms. My word of the year was COURAGE. See courage precedes everything. It takes courage to persevere. It takes courage to be kind. It takes courage to let go or to hold on. It takes courage to fly high and to fall so low. It takes courage to cry pretty. It takes courage to make miracles. It takes courage to do the honorable thing no matter the sacrifice. It takes courage to experience unimaginable pain and to suffer. It takes courage to fight, to survive, to grow, to reinvent, to rediscover. It takes courage to love, to keep faith, to believe and even experience joy during the highs and lows of life.
As 2018 slid away, I was left with a self discovery that is born from suffering. I am strong enough. I am in the best shape of my life. I am beautiful and the scars made me even more so. I will make the time. I don’t need to change a thing. The world needs to change. I am not only capable, but courageous enough to see my perfect, and that beauty and light and goodness comes from within. Your circumstances, no matter how terrible, can’t take away the person you are, your guiding principles, and the values you stand for. And each child that receives this terrible cancer diagnosis reflects courage and strength and a rare beauty of spirit.
So with tremendous excitement , I’m checking off one item on my bucket list I will complete this 28.3 mile hike and consider it one of my greatest accomplishments. I am so blessed that my struggles helped push me in the direction to help others and in such a profound way. I used my pain to cross the bridge from trauma and victimization to a newfound belief in my self, hope for the future and dedication to others. I believe love will always win and it is a choice to be kind.
I walk in honor of Kiran Panesar, a beautiful little girl of a very good friend of mine, Reema. Kiran was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphona at the age of 5. Her fight was courageous and so inspiring. I witnessed not just her own struggles but that of her mother and father and her older brother. As Reema’s friend, I felt helpless and unable to do anything, but desperately wanted to do something, anything. Today, I am able to dedicate my hike and these funds to honor this sweet, courageous girl and my dear friend. Kiran adds her own statement, “No pokes, no yucky medicine, and no cancer. I want research so no one will ever have to be sick again.” I am so happy to say Kiran is in remission and is living the life of a normal elementary school student. Please lift our little Wonder Woman up in prayers and positive vibes that her good health continues for another 100 or so years.
The money I raise will also support CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a national non-profit foundation whose mission is to fund and support targeted and innovative children's cancer research, with measurable results. In addition, they are the authoritative source for information resources about children's cancer for families and their support systems.
Five of the 43 children diagnosed every day do not survive. Please, support me as I help change the odds for those children most at risk. We need a cure and your donation helps us work towards that and it helps families that need support and it shows these children what super heroes they actually are.
Thank you for helping me work to tell children's cancer to take a hike! And to the 2019 Ultimate Hike, I enter with wisdom, courage and boldness.
Merrily A Copenhaver
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