Brothers Andy and Jason Dorais are close beyond measure – they do just about everything together, including breaking speed ascent records on peaks throughout the U.S., while simultaneously completing their medical residencies in Utah. Recently, a family illness changed Jason’s plan to participate with the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Team and Andy went in his place while Jason stayed home to be with his wife. In this very personal, heart-wrenching piece, Andy talks about love, family, racing, and always keeping the big picture in mind.
Throughout the fall and winter, Jason and I trained to make the US Ski Mountaineering Team. Jason qualified at the National Championships, but I narrowly missed during the three qualifying races in early January. After all the dust had settled, I was the alternate for the 8 man team that consisted of John Gaston, Tom Goth, Marshall Thompson, Jason Dorais, Max Taam, Luke Nelson, Greg Ruckman, and Scott Simmons (Brian Wickenhauser had qualified but yielded his spot to Simmons). All the tickets were purchased and travel plans made. I was staying home.
Then, my brother’s wife got sick. She’s been sick and has been bravely battling a wretched case of cancer since being diagnosed last summer. All types of cancer are life altering and terrible but hers is advanced and quite serious. So far, she has risen to the occasion through surgery, chemo, and radiation, remaining charming and smiling through it all (more on her story here). She is a beautiful example of everything good in this world.
Jason has also been unshakable through this entire experience. In the last 45 days, he and Amanda have gotten married, moved, and been to the hospital uncountable times. He’s wrecked two cars, trained, raced, made the US team, worked the exhausting hours of a medical resident, and remained faithfully by his wife’s side as she has experienced what I’m sure are some of the deepest lows of her young life.
He’s made it look easy.