Inside the Story: Cancer survivor going on four-month 'hike for healing'

Inside the Story: Cancer survivor going on four-month 'hike for healing' (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A Utah County chemistry teacher is going on an incredibly challenging adventure.

For four months, Signe Gines will be completing a 2,600-mile hike across three states.

She will be hiking and camping across the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself -- but not for herself

In January of 2015 she was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma.

"The hardest thing for me as a mother was to gather my children together and tell them what I had," Gines said.

After the cancer diagnosis, she made a commitment to now slow down, no matter how sick she got.

That included showing up to teach at Lehi High School day after day, taking only four sick days during her six months of chemotherapy.

"I continued to be as normal as I could, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that's what helped me heal," she said.

Gines' biggest source of healing came from the mountains. She has climbed 49 of Colorado's 56 14,000-foot and more mountain tops.

One month after her cancer treatment, she went on a two-week, 178-mile backpacking trip in Idaho.

She also climbed three volcanoes in Oregon.

Hiking gives Gines "peace, gives solace, gives time to think and reflect," she said.

Gines will have plenty of time for reflection on her next big adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.

She will start at the Canadian border in Washington state, make her way through Oregon, go down into California, and eventually end at the Mexico border near San Diego.

She's making the trek all in the name of cancer awareness.

"You get a feeling that it's a death sentence immediately," Gines said of getting cancer. "It doesn't have to be. You can can continue to live a full life."

On her hike, she will be carrying a pack that weighs 35-40 pounds.

"I believe that doing this trek will bring awareness to cancer victims, to show that they can continue to be active and become healthy," Gines said.

She hopes to raise a half a million dollars to help cancer patients with treatment.

Gines leaves on the four-month journey on July 12.

If you want to follow along, you can do so on her Facebook page.

And if you're interested in supporting her journey for cancer awareness, you can visit her fundraising page.