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Colorado Trail 2018!

Megan Tischbein

Megan Tischbein

I fell in love with long distance backpacking last year when I took 5 1/2 months to walk from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail with my dog, Baxter. At the end of August 2017, I moved from Connecticut to Ames, IA with Baxter to start my first year of veterinary school at Iowa State. At the beginning of November, my dad was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile duct which caused a huge mass to grow on his liver. When I was home for Thanksgiving, we found out that he only had weeks to live. He passed away early Christmas morning.

Over the last six months I have been dreaming about backpacking again with Baxter and have decided to hike the 485 mile Colorado Trail - from Denver to Durango - before I start my second year of veterinary school. I absolutely love the beauty and simplicity of living outside with nothing but my dog and the things on my back. Backpacking also connects me deeply with my dad, who took me on my first backpacking trip when I was 11 years old and relentlessly encouraged me on each of my adventures.

Recently, however, in planning my hiking trip in Colorado, I have wondered how to make my trip meaningful and beneficial to those around me. I was drawn to one cause in particular – awareness and research for multiple myeloma and for which there is currently no cure. My uncle was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in November of 2016 after several years of bone pain. He has undergone several rounds of high dose chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, radiation therapy, and is currently in remission. Hopefully his remission lasts until a cure can be found. My mom also has a blood abnormality that causes her to have a predisposition for multiple myeloma. Because of this, I chose to hike the Colorado Trail to raise awareness for this disease that is unknown to many people. I am also hiking to raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) since they lead research to better understand this currently incurable disease, bring new therapies to the fight, and support multiple myeloma patients and their families. It is my hope, that with increased awareness and monetary donations to support research, that a cure can be found in the near future. I am especially proud to be working with MMRF since I do not want my cousins to also experience a loss of a parent to cancer and I want to be certain that I do not lose my mother to this disease.

Please follow my journey on Instagram @mstischb!!



Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, sadly, has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. But while there is no cure, great progress is being made.

In fact, thanks to the important work of the MMRF, the world's leading private funder of myeloma research, the FDA has approved TEN new treatments, including FOUR in just the past 18 months – a track record that's unparalleled in the world of oncology. These drugs have almost tripled the lifespan of myeloma patients. And now the MMRF is funding over 20 additional treatments in various stages of development, giving hope to tens of thousands of patients and their families.

The Goal: Raise $5,000 for the MMRF!

The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. An outstanding 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. And the MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past eleven years in a row.


raised of $5,000 goal


1. MMatching Gift - Zamparo
2. ?Anonymous
3. VHValerie Hartman
Congratulations on your epic hike. Quite the accomplishment for a tremendous cause!
4. ?Anonymous
Way to go, Megan!! You are an inspiration to all of us :)
5. ?Anonymous
6. ?Anonymous

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