Kentucky Educator Fighting Cancer Climbs Mount Everest For A Cure

Posted at 3:26 PM, Nov 11, 2018

HEBRON, Ky. (WLWT) -In a sea of emotional hellos and goodbyes at the airport, there was one at CVG Saturday evening that could not go unnoticed.

“He wanted to do something to work towards a cure,” Gwen Detwiler explains. She is married to Boone County Schools Deputy Superintendent Jim Detwiler.

“It’s really incredible to see the community turnout,” she said as she looks at a crowd of people waiting to greet her husband near an airport waiting area.

WLWT reports that family, friends and Boone County School’s students and staff welcomed Detwiler home with signs, cheers and hugs. The celebration was a surprise as he returned home after a nearly three-week-long journey to climb Mount Everest.

“It was hard. It was harder than I thought it would be,” Detwiler says. “I’m tired. I want a burger. Great 14 days. Really tiring, but really worth it,” he adds.

Detwiler was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in 2016. As of now, it is incurable.

“You just watch and wait until you hit a certain threshold when the benefits of the treatment will outweigh the quality of life. So it feels kind of hopeless.” Detwiler said.

Wanting to find a greater purpose in diagnosis, Detwiler decided to take his fight against cancer to new heights and documented his climb of Mount Everest along the way.

He says researchers have come close to finding a cure for multiple myeloma and other blood cancers

“This is an opportunity for him to be able to take an active hand in something he wouldn’t normally be able to take an active hand,” his wife, Gwen, said.

“Moving that mountain, Jim Detwiler explains. “Mountains are moveable.”

His newfound determination to fight and also help others in finding a cure is now serving as inspiration to the Boone County Schools community.

Detwiler’s advice to anyone fighting cancer, is to look for the positive.

“Every challenge there’s a blessing. Every challenge there’s a blessing, or 10. Look for the blessing. That’s what I would tell them. They’re there,” he says.

So far, he’s raised about $30,000 for research through his Mount Everest fundraising trip.