Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weekend Plans

Tomorrow I will be making the 90 minute drive to the historic Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood for the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer. As I make my final preparations for this significant physical challenge, I am hoping you will take the time to read a little more about my journey and consider contributing to my fundraising efforts.

With the help of friends, family and strangers, I have surpassed my $3,000 fundraising goal for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center but there is still time to donate, every contribution counts! I have chosen this challenge as a way to step outside my comfort zone and push myself physically in a new way while also raising money for cancer research. My personal experience with breast cancer has taught me that while women are living longer, the long list of side effects from current treatments impact the quality of life for survivors in significant and often unexpected ways. As women like me are diagnosed younger, often with more aggressive forms of disease, we face a constant threat of recurrence or the spread of the initial cancer into the bones, lungs, liver or brain. Current treatments may cause debilitating fatigue, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, joint and bone pain, peripheral neuropathy, weight gain, early menopause and osteoporosis, to a name a few. More research is needed to improve existing treatments and develop better treatments that not only improves survival rates but increases the quality of a survivor's life. Approximately 80% of your donation goes directly to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center without being filtered through multiple organizations. The Hutchinson Center researchers are reducing breast cancer incidence and death by identifying risk factors for the disease, developing new methods of detecting its presence and helping to predict health outcomes based on a woman’s genetics and other factors.

So now you know where the money is going, what is it that I am doing this weekend? In addition to my personal donation, I have been training to prep my mind and body for a technical ascent of Mt. Hood. Standing a magestic 11,240 feet above the Columbia River, Mt. Hood is Oregon's highest peak with 11 glaciers offering technical climbing routes that challenge aspiring alpinists like myself as well as more challenging routes for experienced climbers. An ascent of Mt. Hood is a technical climb which requires the use of an ice axe and crampons, a first for me. Therefore, Saturday will be spent at the Steep Snow Climbing Course near the Timberline Lodge for snow school. The guides will be teaching us footwork in mountain boots, crampon and ice axe techniques, rope systems and self-arrest.

Saturday night I will be staying with my fellow-climbers at the Silcox Hut, a bunkhouse above the Timberline Lodge at  7,000 feet. After a midnight wake-up call, the real climbing begins. The plan is to reach the summit by 7 or 8 am Sunday morning and return to the Timberline Lodge by noon.

Click here to donate.

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