When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that pops into your head may not be walking 600 miles in Spain but for one Montrose woman and her niece, that's exactly what they did.
"I have this hunger to learn; to experience things that people are, for some reason, scared of,” says 15 year old Carrie Lane.
Lane journaled every day while in Spain, a trip prompted by tragic yet uplifting circumstances.
She met her great aunt Inge Cheatham a year ago. Shortly after their first introduction, Lane discovered the aunt she hardly knew had cancer-- a tumor on her spine.
"She got diagnosed ten years ago and for that cancer, she decided to have chemotherapy and got rid of it. Then she was re-diagnosed two years ago,” explains Lane.
Instead of going through chemotherapy again, Lane says they decided to walk more than 600 miles throughout Spain all on a mission to self-heal.
"Her doctors were like that's a bad idea. You should have chemo,” says Lane.
Among the no chemo decision, Inge changed her entire lifestyle.
"She went from eating normally to eating vegan and walking every day and she shrunk her tumor just by doing that,” says Lane.
The duo began their trip in the South of France and backpacked all the way to Camino de Santiago in Spain armed with healthy foods, water and the power of positive thought.
"What really amazed me is that she didn't talk about her cancer that much. Like she pretended it wasn't there,” says Lane.
They arrived back in Grand Junction on Saturday.
Lane says not only did the experience bring her closer to an aunt she barely knew but also gave her the opportunity to learn life lessons from someone she calls “one of the coolest girls in the world”.
"She’s such an inspiration,” says Lane.
Inge is currently undergoing tests to determine if her tumor has shrunk.
The two didn't allow themselves to have cell phones or make-up during the five week excursion.
The only communication with friends and family was on Facebook about once a week.