• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Rim2Rim across the Grand Canyon

October 11, 2016

patient and nurse taking selfie at the Grand CanyonKristin Salzman first met Jenny Kollasch, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, after experiencing discomfort following one of several surgeries she underwent as part of her stage IIIA breast cancer treatment. "I couldn't lay back, I was hurting so badly," Kristin says. "So someone suggested I go to physical therapy, and that's when I met Jenny."

That was three years ago. In the time since, caregiver and patient have become fast friends. "When we first met, it was like we'd already known each other for a long time," Jenny says. "Sometimes, you just connect with people like that."

Earlier this year, Kristin asked Jenny to take a hike ... with her. More specifically, she asked Jenny to  join her for a 40-some-mile hike through the Grand Canyon. Dubbed Rim2Rim, the two-day hike is sponsored by A Project Athena, a non-profit organization "dedicated to helping survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their adventurous dreams." The hike would cover the full distance of the canyon's south and north rims. And despite having had surgery last October to repair a torn tendon in her ankle, Jenny accepted. "I just thought to myself, 'Man, I'm a physical therapist. If my patient can do this, I should be able to do it, too,'" she tells us. Read the rest of their story.
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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

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