Last year, Don Flint received an invitation to the top of the world from an unexpected source.
The Plymouth resident was on his last regular doctor visit to Ogden after a successful and relatively short battle with thyroid cancer when his oncologist invited him on a trek to Mount Everest.
Flint is an avid outdoorsman and former rock climber, but had never been outside of the United States, let alone to the other side of the world. Through conversations with his doctor, Brandon Fisher, he discovered that Fisher also had a passion for the outdoors, and was involved with a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit called Radiating Hope.
Radiating Hope raises money to provide radiation equipment for cancer treatment in developing countries, in part by selling mountain guide services.
Flint got on board with the excursion, and in April of this year, he, Fisher and a group of 35 other doctors and cancer survivors got on a plane and headed for Kathmandu, Nepal to deliver a radiation machine to some doctors there. They spent some time in Kathmandu, acclimating to the high altitude while dining on yak burgers and mingling with the locals before heading out for 13 days on the legendary trail to Everest base camp, which sits at 17,600 feet above sea level.
“Going to Everest was something I had always dreamed about,” Flint said. “Then the closer it got, the more nervous I was, thinking ‘am I ready for this?’ A lot of overwhelming thoughts went through my head.”
While the three-week trip was the fulfillment of a personal dream for Flint, it turns out he wasn’t really doing it for himself. During his fight with cancer he had met other locals who were fighting similar battles, and he was determined to make the journey in their names.
He was trekking for four people, including the wife of a friend, and one young boy in particular —…