Juneau resident Terry White is heading south of the equator, again.
Two years after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, the 59-year-old Juneau man and multiple myeloma patient will spend five days trekking across the stark landscape of Patagonia, a remote region on the bottom of South America. Like his ascent of the highest peak in Africa, the November expedition will raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
“I’m getting the opportunity to do stuff that otherwise I might not ever been able to, and it’s raising money for a good cause,” White said in an interview with the Empire.
White has battled the incurable blood cancer for about 10 years. He raised thousands of dollars for the last expedition, and hopes to bring in $10,000 with his second go-around with Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma (MM4MM), a joint initiative of MMRF, CURE Media Group and Celgene. As of Friday afternoon, White raised just shy of $5,000.
“It’s an honor to be on the team,” White said. “I don’t know that much about the area but I’ve been reading up.”
Since 2016, MM4MM has facilitated treks everywhere from Africa to Asia, North America to South America. The program has a larger mission of reaching the farthest point on each continent, according to MMRF spokesperson Megan Ferguson, which is why Patagonia was settled on.
“Patagonia is one of that they have not yet hit,” Ferguson said.
White said he was reluctant at first head to South America. It’s customary for the hiking teams to do a training hike before the real thing, and the Patagonia team climbed Mount Hood earlier this year.
“The summer was crazy busy so I couldn’t make that so I missed that,” White said. “Those are important things. You build team building so I’m a little bit behind on that, but I know everybody that’s going. I’m looking forward to it. I’m starting to get excited.”
White said one the best parts of the hikes is the people. In addition to other myeloma patients, MM4MM attracts myeloma doctors and nurses, caregivers and family members of patients.
“Along the way you get to know everybody and it becomes a real close-knit, tight group,” White said. “We have this page that we have (from) Kilimanjaro and there’s somebody that posts something (on it) almost every day. These people, they’re from East Coast to West Coast, and you acknowledge birthdays and check-ups — it’s lifelong friends.”
To donate to Terry White’s MMRF account, go to endurance.themmrf.org/2019Patagonia/TerryWhite.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.