top of page

18 year old Dylan Christiansen was diagnosed with a rare Burkitt lymphoma on his first day of his senior year of high school last September. He went from thinking he had a sinus infection to being diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.


Thankfully the intense, multiple-month, chemotherapy treatment worked and his cancer was eradicated. As soon as his treatment was complete, and he was given the okay to regain his activities, he wanted to be back on the mountain skiing. His mother Lori, had seen the launch of our foundation and applied to the scholarship program through our website, bf-foundation.org, earlier this year.


Chris and Kimmy read through the considerable amount of impactful applications received through the website. The couple chose Dylan to be the first recipient in hopes that bringing him to Mammoth, during the resorts legendarily long season this summer, would provide a chance for them to reconnect to the healing properties of nature.


The mother and son duo embraced skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, nature walks and connective mental therapy.


Dylan and his mom arrived on July 25th, 2023 and we quickly got them out on Mammoth Mountain for some groomers the next morning. Energy levels were high and we rode until the chairs stopped around noon and then picked up our mountain biking gear. A first full day of activities was in the books and Dylan’s permanent smile was evidence of a great day. The next morning the crew was on the snow again, and then headed out for their first ever outdoor multi pitch rock climb. Sierra Mountain Guides, lead the adventure, and Chris and I met them at the top of the quartz crystal covered peak of Crystal Crag.




Stepping away from the busy-ness of life and into the serenity of nature has provided profound healing for me as I have been faced with challenging hardships and the loss of both of my parents to cancer. In someways, I believe I found my passion for snowboarding and my love for the mountains after my dad passed away when I was 14 years old.



At that time, snowboarding became a wholesome addiction. I longed to be on the mountain with my friends. As soon as I strapped into my snowboard I felt an overwhelming peaceful clarity that I had never felt before. I was able to embrace the present moment and felt all my worries fade away.


In 2017, I noticed the same calling to the mountains after my mom passed away from cancer. I just felt this need to be isolated in nature, with no distractions. I just wanted to breathe amongst the trees, and have space to be and process my feelings.


As Chris and I have now entered parenthood, we have found so much joy in sharing the healing properties of nature with our boys. We observe their curiosity and wonder as they play in the lakes, hike in the trees, climb on rocks, or bike the local trails. They are happier when they are outside.





When I was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2021, I was quickly ushered into an aggressive treatment plan and within 3 weeks I was sitting in my first round of chemotherapy. I visualized sunshine dripping in the IV, instead of harsh medicines- in hopes it would be more healing. As I neared the end of my treatment, which included 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy surgery, and 30 rounds of radiation, I felt the calling of my inner-being back to nature. I was longing to be surrounded by quiet forests, tall mountains, and peaceful lakes. There’s a feeling that those elements bring to our mind and body connection and it’s healing.


- Kimmy


20220330_pondella_bentart_6891.png

JOURNAL

bottom of page