Wendy Waugaman’s courage is the initial inspiration for my journey to Nepal. In October of 2010, she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to the lymph system and lungs. As though I wasn’t already aware, this was affirmation that cancer is an indiscriminate disease. Wendy died on June 18, 2012 after a valiant effort—one she never doubted she could win. She did all the right things in life—followed a healthy diet and was a triathlete. A hoax—that’s what she called it. She felt great and had no symptoms. How was it possible that she was walking around with the “C” word?
So we journeyed together through her treatment and I added the “normalcy.” We played golf, caught up over coffee and hit the spa for pedicures as I learned about her latest treatment. Wendy got married, for the first time, at age 49 in January 2010. Little did she know how few moments she would have with the man of her dreams. Ultimately, she believed he came in to her life to be by her side as she valiantly fought her progressing disease.
This week I take her courageous spirit to emanate blessings to the world from the summit of Imja Tse as part of Above & Beyond Cancer.