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About My Blog

June 19, 2021

What is it that fuels each and every one of us in this world? For me, it is the joy of life, helping people and my own spiritual growth.  So why my hiking challenge? and why this blog?  My name is Rex Wiig and in December 2019 I became deathly ill, I was having trouble with balance and walking, with talking, with my memory, I was severely fatigued, and I was spending 16 hours a day in bed and losing weight rapidly (in total I lost 90 pounds).   Due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency and inactivity I lost a great deal of my muscle from atrophy I was diagnosed with a potentially deadly rare autoimmune disease "Autoimmune Metaplastic Atrophic Gastritis" (an inherited gift from my ancestors) and associated stomach cancer.  My beliefs and, who I was, were shaken to their very core.  I am now slowly recovering and feeling pretty good.  Although the autoimmune disease is not curable, we are finally managing it thanks to my Doctor, Karima Hirani MD MPH.  In the picture below, taken in March 2021, Dr. Hirani and I are retiring my handicap placard after four neural therapy treatments which resolved about 95% of the neuropathy (numbness and pain) in my feet and right hand.  So, I've discovered the joy of life, again, and now consider my illness to be actually a blessing, I know that sounds weird! It's a blessing because it allowed me, or forced me rather, to reflect on who I am and how I am living my life.  God has blessed me with self-reflection and recovery.  I do not want to waste that!  I have been on a journey to heal myself both physically and spiritually and so many people have been immensely helpful in my self-reflection and looking inward at myself.  People who are so much worse off than I, and also my Doctor and my friend Pam who both inspired me to hike for the first time.  My first hike performance was abysmal I could not walk the trail without stopping often to catch my breath and rest I had neither the stamina nor strength to hike a relatively tame trail.  That's when the seed was planted to hike the Grand Canyon.  A very lofty goal and seemingly unattainable!   I am fortunate that I am able to choose to not to be a victim of my illness.  For those not as fortunate, pray for me, cheer me on, live this journey through my blog.  This blog will also hopefully help and possibly provide a spark that inspires others with chronic conditions find a way to take a challenge of their own and succeed.   I sincerely believe that inspiration comes from deep within each of us but must be continually ignited by circumstances around us.  Will I succeed in my challenge? only time will tell.  It is a daunting task and although I have the desire, I may find myself incapable.  I will document my progress with how I am doing with my near-term goals.  Besides it is the journey that matters not necessarily the destination.

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