SANDY, Utah — Last year, Brandon Lingwall felt he was close to dying. With help from his hospice social worker, he wrote a letter filled with hope and love and asked people who found the letters to send him photos of them on hiking trails and tell Lingwall how the letter impacted them.
“I thought I was going to die any day, but now all the sudden I have a reason to live,” he said.
It started as just a few letters from people on Utah hiking trails, now a couple months later Lingwall has received more than 200 messages.
Lingwall was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1999. I never thought I would stop being depressed, he said.
“One letter came in and a little less depression, then 2, then 3, now we are up to 203,” he said.
The letter has landed on mountains all over the world, even Mt. Everest.
“It blows me away more than anyone,” he said of the letter ending up on the world’s highest mountain.
Lingwall is preparing to leave hospice.
“I never thought I would be on hospice in the first place, but now to get off it. It is just overwhelming. Maybe I will last another 10 years,” he said.
The responses from people about the letters has given Lingwall a will to live, and he credits the passion project with saving his life.
“I almost feel like MS has been a blessing because of all of the nice people I’ve met,” he said.