On April 25, Kelly Gray of Novato, Calif., will begin a strenuous but extraordinary 14-day trek in Nepal to the foot of the world’s tallest mountain, and she’ll be making the trip as both a personal challenge and an opportunity to support the Breast Cancer Fund. She’ll be one of 15 to participate in Sacred Treks: Everest, organized by Breast Cancer Fund Hero Cathy Ann Taylor and her company, Cattara.
A recent article in the Novato Patch newspaper profiles Gray’s preparations and her personal reasons for making this trek:
“I'm taking on this physical challenge as a way to prevent breast cancer," she says. "I have two sisters who are breast cancer survivors and my maternal grandmother also suffered from the disease. I want my children to know that we can do something positive regarding cancer and that we can hope for a better future.”
In addition to training for six months, members of the team will also fundraise a minimum of $5,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund. Past participants of Sacred Treks to Bhutan, Mont Blanc and Machu Picchu have raised over $200,000 for breast cancer prevention.
Once in Nepal, the team will hike the Himalaya on the shortest and most direct route to the foot of Everest. From Kala Patar at over 18,000 feet, they’ll see the face of Everest and trek to Everest Base Camp, and upon reaching their final destination, they’ll fly Breast Cancer Fund prayer flags (taken from the Tibetan tradition) in honor and memory of loved ones touched by the disease.