Mona Patel, this “Why I Climb” is for you!
Mona is one of my Survivor Summit teammates and a fellow Yankee-turned-Austinite. She originally hails from Boston, and has traveled pretty extensively before ending up in our hipster Texas town. She works at LIVESTRONG, and her reasons for doing the climb are very personal, too: she lost her brother to cancer a number of years ago.
Mona is always doing her part to help in the fight against cancer, making her an incredible teammate and advocate for the cause. Additionally, we all relied on her strength and familiarity with mountains on this trip; she’s summitted Kilimanjaro before, as well as Denali, and a slew of mountains in Latin America.
But one the best things about Mona is that she’s not much of a self-promoter. She could go on an on about all the amazing stuff she’s done—from stand up paddle boarding in Dam That Cancer, to running marathons. Instead, she has a quiet sense of confidence, and is always happy to help others. She stuck by Mindy’s side for hours on end, gave me one hell of a pep talk before heading up the Barranco Wall, and took so many beautiful pictures of our climb so that we would all be able to remember it for many years to come.
One of the words I think of when I think of Mona is “peaceful.” She taught me the value in having a calm, level-headed, stable, and dependable presence when tackling a challenge. I’m thankful for this lesson, and so excited to know a new face in Austin as a result of Survivor Summit. Today, Mona, I climb for you.