A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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Heroic Hearts: Choosing positive steps from the deepest grief
14 Sep
By 2020
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By Randy Pierce

Any one moment in our lives may hold the opportunity to make a world of difference for us or the people we encounter. Still, it may be incredibly difficult to recognize the choice to live sufficiently aware within the moment.

An early winter hike up Mt. Hale in 2012 provided a chance encounter with Greg Neault and Aaron Sakash. All of us were open enough to the whole of the experience that we became hiking companions and friends. Those two alone could provide many an inspiring tale and likely will–however, that’s a tale for another day. This blog will focus upon someone I met ultimately through Aaron.

In memory of Zach Tilbe, funds are being raised to help support Zach's wish to give back to the people who helped him and his family.

Andy Morse is running the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon on October 6. I’m sure there is plenty of personal challenge and accomplishment ahead for Andy in this endeavor. I know a bit about Andy from our shared hikes and his tremendous support and encouragement of our 2020 Vision Quest efforts. What speaks more powerfully than I could ever hope to match is the reason behind his efforts and why I hope you’ll visit their page and give them as much encouragement and support as possible.

Zach Tilbe did not graduate from high school last year, though he most certainly was on the minds of all his classmates who honored his memory during their ceremony. He is undoubtedly on the minds of his loving family who face the incredible grief of his death from a terminal illness as they find the various means to cope with his loss from their lives.

How does one face such potent grief? They follow a bit of Zach’s example and attempt to take positive steps forward. Thus, Andy will be running for Zach Tilbe’s Heroic Hearts. Funds will go to ease the challenge faced by other children and their families while facing the most serious of medical challenges.

Most of us will hopefully never know so well the challenge faced by Zach, his family, or their many supportive friends. We all could and should know the power and benefit of community support we can provide each other. We are all going to face challenges–and whether we can set aside the distraction and reach out to someone else we in the face of our own experience is likely how we may best test the hero in our own heart.

I know only that I will honor Andy, Zach and his family in the best ways I am able, one step of which is to share this with you. That is only my first step and I hope I’ll be meeting many friends old and new along this path.

One response to “Heroic Hearts: Choosing positive steps from the deepest grief”

  1. Andy Morse says:

    I want to thank you for your kind words in helping us promote Zach Tilbe Heroic Hearts in support of David’s House. Your efforts in hiking the 48 4,000-footers have certainly helped push me to do things I never would have imagined such as running my first marathon! You have not only inspired me but I’ve also met lots of great people along the way because of you.
    Thank you again my friend,

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