In 2001, Missy Detzner and her father climbed to the 14,259-foot summit of Longs Peak.
Detzner said the beauty and challenge of that hike eventually brought her to Craig.
“That was really what sold me,” Detzner said of the mountainous West. “On the way home, I told my dad, ‘As soon as I’m done with school, I’m moving to Colorado.’”
Four years later, Detzner fulfilled that promise.
After graduating from Marquette University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2005, Detzner packed her bags to take a job at Rehabilitation Services of Craig, where she’s been ever since.
Today, Detzner helps patients surmount their own uphill struggles at the clinic, and she is active in both the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and a newly formed cancer support group.
The cancer support group meets from 6 to 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Rehabilitation Services of Craig, 473 Yampa Ave.
However, the group’s second meeting convenes Tuesday — the second one of December — to avoid conflicts with the holidays.
So far the group has been small, said Detzner, 29.
“We had five people,” Detzner said of the first meeting in November.
Meetings are informal, she said.
“We don’t have a set agenda,” Detzner said. “But, we’d like to get to the point where nurses, nutritionists or other folks come in to talk about their aspect of cancer treatment and recovery.”
Detzner said there was a need for the support group in Craig.
“I’ve had a few patients ask if I knew of any support groups,” she said. “I finally decided if there were enough people asking about it, there was enough interest to get something going.”
So, she did.
Detzner is also on the committee for Relay for Life, which takes an active role in Moffat County.
The annual event, held in July, asks volunteers to raise money through sponsored walks.
Detzner said she has walked during the wee hours of the relay. She said the thoughts of others kept her and others stepping throughout the night.
“You’re doing it to help someone out, so it makes it easier to keep walking even though you’re tired or you want to go to bed,” she said. “And, it’s more than just raising money. It’s showing people that you care about what they’re going through and that you want to do something about it.”
Detzner said her interest in raising awareness about cancer and raising money toward a cure comes from her work with patients at the clinic.
One patient, in particular, moved Detzner to act.
“I have a patient who I’ve worked with for the past four years who has cancer,” Detzner said. “She’s become more than just a patient. I think of her as a friend and family.
“And, when I see what she’s gone through and what other people have gone through, I just wanted to do something to make what they’re going through a little bit easier.”
For more information about the cancer support group, call Kim Dilldine at 824-8421 or Missy Detzner at 824-9359.
Ben McCanna can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.