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Cindy Abbott on her "Banner on the Moon" Everest to Sled Dogs and Back Again

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Life Through Sled Dogs

Life Through Sled Dogs

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For me, just the mention of Cindy Abbott, turns me into a bit of a giddy fan. Understand that it isn't entirely that she is one in 40 women in the USA to have ever summitted Mount Everest, or that she finished the Iditarod on her third try, taking the Red Lantern.  It isn't even really that she is the only woman to do both of these things. You see, she has a rare disease called Wegener's granulomatosis, and it was during training for her Everest climb that she was finally diagnosed after 14 years of fighting an enemy with no name. 

So, what do you do when you are told you've got a rare and incurable disease? Well, according to Cindy, whether you ascend 29,029 feet on Everest, or you take a team of dogs and do 1049 miles to Nome, you just DO IT. Cindy made the decision to FIGHT. And fight she did. She decided to advocate and educate for NORD, or the National Organization for Rare Disorders, run the "Greatest Race on Earth," climb that rather big hill and continue to be a professor at California State at Fullerton. 

There is a film about her that is finally finished after four long years in production that will be appearing in festivals this year, called Banner on the Moon. That banner of course is her NORD banner which she takes with her everywhere, and quite frankly, the moon would have to be the next stop for this lady. 

On a personal note, and why I am so very passionate about speaking with her, is that I too battle a disease. Cindy has been a personal hero to me. So having this opportunity to talk sled dogs and how they've been a positive influence on her, as they have me, will be a highlight of my life. And I do hope that no matter who you are and what you do with dogs, that you too will find this amazing woman to be a source of inspiration unbound, and an example of the strength we all have hidden inside us, waiting for our dogs to show us where to find it. 

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