Roanoke veteran diagnosed with rare disease completes 13-day hike through Patagonia

Roanoke – Proving that there ain’t no mountain high enough, a local veteran just completed the journey of a lifetime.

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Carmelo Echevarria Colon III of Roanoke completes 13-day hike through Patagonia.

Carmelo Colon III of Roanoke, a VMI instructor and cub scout’s leader was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer six years ago.

While living with the disease for the past several years has proved to be challenging, Carmelo attributes a great deal of the success of his medical journey not only to his doctors at the Duke University Hospital, but also to his positive mindset.

He says he's lucky, and he wants to help others heal.

"I see them in their pain and what they cannot do," said Colon. "I have this advantage that I can still live a normal life and I see no reason why I can't help others and can't support research."

To raise money for research to cure Multiple Myeloma, he took on the extraordinary feet of a 13-day hike through Patagonia. He completed the trek Monday.

Carmelo's confidence in his optimistic attitude is what has served as the motivation behind his decision to participate in the hike with Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma.

The fundraiser is a joint initiative between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, CURE Media Group, and Celgene.

His goal is to raise $10,000 for research. To help him on his mission, visit his fundraising page. So far, he has raised more than $4,000.

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