Fall training has begun. Actually, we started fall training on Sept 1st. Running 2 12-dog teams out of Vern Halter / Dream a Dream Dog Farm. Love those doggies!
Wow! After 14 years of searching for answers, 10 years ago, yesterday, I was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare and life-threatening disease with no cause, no cure. Since then I have taken life 10-feet-at-a-time and done amazing things: I held the NORD (National Organization of Rare Disorders) Banner on the summit of Mt Everest and at the finish line of the 1000-mile Iditarod. In 2015, NORD awarded me the first-ever Rare Disease Public Awareness Award for my work in rare disease advocacy. Forrest Gump was right, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” I took what I got and ran with it, literally.
Banana meets the Beams. My long-time friends, Bill and Terri just arrived at the kennel. As a student at Cal State Fullerton, Bill was my mentor. During my graduate years we became friends. We later became colleagues and he is now the retired Kinesiology Chair. When I was diagnosed with Wegeners, he was the second person I told (Larry was the first). And throughout my journey up mountains and running sled dogs across Alaska, he and Terri have been among my greatest supporters. I am so excited that they are here to experience a taste of our Alaskan life.
My two Red Lantern Awards meet. Yesterday I gave “My Journey” presentation at the Iditarod’s Summer Teachers Camp. My 2017 award has been at my house while my 2015 award is kept at Dream A Dream Sled Dog Farm. So I thought it was time they met. I am still waiting for the official name plate for the 2017 award. I love this photo because Larry, the World’s Best Husband, is in it. Photo by Terri Hanke.
Mt. Everest: Seven years ago today I stood on the top of the world holding the National Organization of Rare Disorders Banner.
One of my favorite photos from the 2017 Race: My team is in the Iditarod finish chute heading for the finish line and I am holding the Red Lantern. Photo by Jeff Schultz
On March 18th I crossed the Iditarod finish line in Nome after 12 days, 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 31 seconds on the trail winning my second Red Lantern Award. I beat the fastest Red Lantern time by 1 day, 1 hour, and 45 minutes. The dogs did amazing!!!
This is Panther and Banana in lead. Banana (yellow dog) lead every step of the way – he is an amazing dog and big love bug!