As some of you know my next big adventure takes me to Kenya & Tanzania in August and during that trip I am planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro! Those who know me best - know that this is definitely out of my element (even for as much as I travel) as my idea of camping is any hotel with a proper bathroom! When I initially jumped at the opportunity I didn't realize how difficult this may be - Mt. Kill is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world and only 2/3rds of hikers are able to make it to the summit due to altitude sickness. Not gonna lie I'm a little scared the more I read all these blogs and LOL its more so because of the bathroom situation!
While it is definitely going to be a new experience for me I thought that this time around my traveling could help to serve a greater purpose and benefit my other passion in life and I would appreciate your alls help!
There are a couple of ways to help get involved and support 2 really good causes. I am having a fundraising page in which the proceeds that I raise will go towards the Hope Lodge in Lexington, Kentucky as well as the Tri County Cancer Coalition in Southeastern, Kentucky which directly goes to support the cancer patients from the areas that I grew up in and currently practice in.
FYI: None of your donations will go towards any part of funding for my trip.
1. Make a donation in which all proceeds will go to the Hope Lodge and Tri County Cancer Coalition.
2. Please dedicate a prayer flag to a cancer patient. I'll carry these flags dedicated by you all during my climb - with names of loved ones along with prayers. No need to make a donation for this as I would be honored to carry anyone's flag. For those who have not heard of a prayer flag - a prayer flag is a small colorful rectangular cloth that are inscribed with prayers, and these flags have special significance in the Tibetan culture. As the threads of the flags break off and blow in the wind, they symbolize love, hope, and strength for the people they represent and prayers are said to be carried up to the heavens. If you or anyone else is interested in sending a flag up with me, please let me know and we can figure out the logistics. It is a beautiful way to honor those who have been affected by cancer.
A little about the nonprofit organizations I am supporting (both are dear to my heart as I see how both have a direct impact on our patients):
Hope Lodge: Undergoing treatment for cancer can be both financially and emotionally overwhelming. Patients may require treatment in Lexington medical centers that may not be available in their home communities. Thus this requires patients and their families to be far from home, adding the additional burden of travel & lodging expense. The Hope Lodge is a free service and offers lodging at no cost for adult cancer patients being treated in the Lexington area. Hope Lodge not only provides patients with a place to stay, but it also offers a supportive and safe environment where patients can focus on wellness.Throughout training and even today in practice I see how much this is able to help our patients.
Tri County Cancer Coalition: Their mission is to help reduce the incidence of cancer in Southeastern Kentucky by increasing awareness, education and access to preventative care and treatment. 100% of organizations proceeds go into helping provide patients and the local people with special services and supplies associated with cancer care treatment as well as the costs associated with treatment. They also help distribute supplies such as free wigs, bandanas, scarfs, lymphedema sleeves, breast prothesis, & transportation funds.
You can also follow my journey or watch me cry (hopefully not the later!) on Facebook, Instastory (houseofyala), or Snapchat!
Please feel free to share this post to anyone you know that may be interested!
Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for your help in advance!
Swati Yalamanchi, MD