James Coleman, Jenny Nichols
This year our program took us all across the state of Colorado to tell the story of Mackenzie McGrath and her path to understanding personal wellness, after loosing her brother to cancer. It is a beautiful story of how she continues to cope with her loss by finding solace in the outdoors, comfort in community and growth in the continued pursuit to help others. Mackenzie is a climber, alpinist & all around incredible individual who followed in her brothers footsteps throughout her entire life. Their shared passion for climbing, outdoor preservation and activism fueled incredible journeys around the world. In 2015 Taurin McGrath, Mackenzie’s beloved brother passed away from esophageal cancer. Fueled by the memory of her brother, their shared friendship and a detailed journal he left behind, Mackenzie has spent the last few years visiting some of the worlds most beautiful locations, mountain peaks and places visited by Taurin to spread his ashes and continue their adventures together. The beautiful dedication to preserve her brothers memory is only part of the story. Since her brothers death, Mackenzie has become the Program Director at â€œFirst Descentsâ€, a non-profit organization focusing on taking cancer fighters and survivors into the outdoors to experience climbing, kayaking and other adventure driven activities. When Taurin became sick, First Descents invited him to participate in their program, however he was too ill to take part. Mackenzie’s ability to help others experience what Taurin couldn’t is a profound way to connect and continue his legacy through her extraordinary life.