Why I Give: Sheryl Ott finds healing on the trails

December 12, 2020

“You have breast cancer.”

I will never forget the sound of these words, or where I was when I received the call from the hospital.  I was in the parking garage just off Main Street.  It was cold enough for me to see my breath as my heart pounded in my chest with the news.  I felt sucker-punched.  I got out of my car and started walking in no particular direction.  I found myself at the top of Peets Hill where I sat and considered my diagnosis, working to take it all in.  And so, my healing journey began on the trails of Bozeman.

Fast forward a year, two surgeries, ongoing treatment and miles and miles on GVLT trails, and I can happily say that I am cancer free.  I believe that my time on the GVLT trails and its open spaces is what truly healed me.  Layer on a global pandemic, and I would add that the trails not only healed, they provided much needed relief from the mental and physical impacts of quarantine.

There’s something quite special about starting a walk from Main Street and ending at the top of The College M.  The direct connection between our town and the surrounding mountains supported my recovery from cancer in unexpected ways, and is why I support GVLT and its ongoing mission.  I invite you to join me in support of GVLT and the exceptional outdoor access it provides our community.  Together we can continue to build a lasting legacy we can all be proud of.

Here’s to wide open spaces and easy access to the outdoors – I hope to see you all outside!

Sheryl Ott is a Community Member and Founder of Dare to Detour