Annette De Bow Hits the Trail Once Again!

By Raquel Nunez

When Annette De Bow hit the John Muir Trail in the High Sierras in her first mountain trek the summer of 2010, she didn’t know what to expect. What she did know was that she had to start taking an active role in her own health.

Annette was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera in the winter of 2008, six months after the birth of her daughter. After a year of coming to grips with PV, which she describes as “the joy of being a new parent combined with the shock and grief of a diagnosis,” Annette set her sights on contributing to efforts to find a cure. She became an advocate for her future. And Trek for a Cure was born.

Annette chose to combine her love of the wilderness with her need to take an active role in efforts to seek medical solutions to the rare disorders collectively called MPNs. In 2010 she took to the mountains, hiking the 240 miles of the John Muir Trail through the High Sierra for a little over 30 days. Friends and family joined her on the trail in shifting groups, each hiking for four days to a week.

Audrey Hicks, also diagnosed with PV, flew in from Canada to join Annette on the trail. Many more enthusiastically supported Annette’s trek, and by the time she reached the summit of Mount Whitney, the culmination of her expedition, she had raised $30,000 to support the MPN Research Foundation’s initiatives to find a cure for MPNs.

Annette is once again dusting off her hiking boots, heading into the wilderness and towards a cure for MPNs. This summer she will hike 190 miles from Lake Tahoe to the Yosemite Valley over a three week period. She wants you to join her.

Annette hopes to recruit more patients diagnosed with MPN’s to participate in the trek. And with the second Trek for a Cure, she finds her thoughts and feelings run deeper. She told us, “I live with PV every day of my life, but it is not how I define myself. I feel revitalized in the wild country, and I feel invigorated knowing that together with many supporters we can contribute to finding a cure for my disease. I am not walking alone; many will be hitting the trail with me, supporting my efforts to make a positive contribution.”

If you don’t think you are quite up to the hike, you can still support Annette every step of the way by making a donation at At the site you can read more about the hike and about Annette’s own story, and see photos from previous hikes. You can also sign up for a segment of the hike. Or click the donation button from the comfort of your home. You can also sign up for a segment of the hike or click the donation button from the comfort of your home. If you’d like to reach out to Annette she can be reached at


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