By Alan Gionet

Megan Fischer is getting ready for the Trailblaze Challenge. You can help her out by donating on her sponsor page.

CONIFER, Colo. (CBS4) – She struggles up another steep slope. Megan Fischer, all 85 pounds of her, tugs herself along with a pack full of water and supplies on the trails in Staunton State Park.

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“I was six years old when I was diagnosed,” she tells me.

They were tough times: a little girl with a tumor in her brain, one that threatened her life.

At 6, you don’t really understand the gravity of the situation. But Megan sensed trouble.

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“I think seeing my parents scared, I definitely knew something was wrong.”

Today, her mother remembers how that fear grabbed hold of her. Her daughter had cancer.

“She’s still my baby girl, no matter how old she is.”

A parent can’t help but be protective even after all these years. Today, with her daughter about to turn 25 on a big day, Cathy Fischer loves what she sees.

“She’s one of those people that makes you feel better about yourself.”

Megan beat cancer. Megan went to college and triple majored in international studies, journalism and French. She volunteers at a camp for sick kids. And now she hikes on and on. Megan is getting ready for the Trailblaze Challenge on her birthday Aug. 10. She’ll do it for kids who face terrifying diseases like she did.

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Megan was a “Wish Kid.”

When things were so tough for her family in the early 2000s, the Make A Wish Foundation sent them to Disney World. She’ll never forget it.

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“It was just a great time for my family and I to be together and not have to worry about hospitals and doctor’s appointments.”

It was a break they desperately needed. Her mother gets emotional when talking about it.

“They just saw our needs for everything and it gave us, as a family, good memories again,” said Cathy.

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The photos are aging and grainy from those days, the memories somewhat clouded by time. But Megan knows what a difference it made in their lives.

“Childhood diseases,” she says, “are family diseases.”

CBS4’s Alan Gionet interviews Megan Fischer. (credit: CBS)

“It’s not easy for the kids, it’s not easy for the siblings and it’s not easy for the entire family in general,” says Megan.

So she wants to help today’s sick children get their own wishes.

“If even for a few days, a few hours, it just kind of helps to take your mind off of it and to really focus on being together as a family unit.”

It has involved long training hikes along with other Trailblaze Challenge participants. This day they did 16 miles. Megan sometimes lags a little behind, but they all gather around her on breaks.

“She drives us to get it done though, she really does,” said Cyndi Myers of Littleton. Megan hikes each step remembering not only her own struggle but that of sick children at the camp where she volunteers.

“Unfortunately when we lose some of them, I feel. I feel a little bit of guilt. Sometimes I feel very sad … they fought so hard, and I just take solace in the fact that they’re in a place without pain,” says Megan.

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Her hike will help get children to their destinations. It often costs thousands for Make-A-Wish to grant wishes. When Megan pushes off in the wee hours of Aug. 10, she will do it for them. These days, Megan reaches for goal after goal and makes all of them. One her family thought she may never have reached. The hike is a brutal challenge, but Megan is up to it.

“I really hate hearing the words no and I feel like when people tell me I can’t do things I kind of feel like I can say, ‘Watch me.’”

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Megan is trying to raise at least $7,500 with her Trailblaze Challenge.

Here is a link to her sponsor page if you can help:

The Trailblaze Challenge website has more information:

Alan Gionet


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