On Aug. 30, 2018, twenty cancer survivors and caregivers embarked on a journey that forever changed them. They joined Above + Beyond Cancer for a 21-day trip with medical missions in Nepal and a challenging trek around Mount Kailash in Tibet, one of the most sacred spots on earth, where travelers come from all over the world to complete a holy pilgrimage for people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faiths.
The group kicked off the trip with visits to Nepal’s Bhakatapur Cancer Hospital and Kanti Children’s Hospital. Coming from different sides of the world, the Above + Beyond Cancer team and the cancer patients found that a language barrier couldn’t stop them from building a strong and meaningful connection. The travelers and patients all had one thing in common: they were too familiar with hospital visits.
After a couple of days of bonding with the patients and exploring Nepal, the Above + Beyond Cancer group headed toward Tibet and their daunting mountain challenge.
On day 13 of the long journey, the travelers were ready for the Kora – a 32-mile circuit path around Mount Kailash, walking at about 18,000 feet high. People of many faiths believe circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot brings good fortune.
However, the Above + Beyond Cancer group found that good fortune isn’t all the trek brought to them. The hike brought courage. It brought determination, self-respect, a sense of pride and peace.
Standing on Mount Kailash, the cancer survivors and caregivers realized cancer didn’t hold them back. It ignited them.