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Make A Difference

February 1, 2012

Prayer Flags carried to the summit. Photo by Karen Kilian.

2012.  The New Year.  What are your resolutions?  Maybe the typical:  I will lose weight and exercise.  Those seem to be very common new year behaviors. What am I doing?  Oh, climbing Mt. Rainier and raising money for breast cancer research.  All 14,411 feet of it…weather willing. My goal, besides the summit, is to raise $8000 to help researchers find a better way to diagnose it and treat it.  What’s “it”?  Cancer.  This money is going directly to fund breast cancer research, but I know it will also help many other folks with cancer as well.  What I want to do this year is Make A Difference.

One year ago, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer. She received chemotherapy that was a direct result of breast cancer research.  What’s good for one cancer, may be good for another.  Twenty years ago, my cousin died from breast cancer at age 33.  Maybe if she was alive today she would have stayed alive, as treatment for breast cancer has advanced dramatically.  The only way it will continue to advance is through research.  Research takes money, which is in short supply.

So, now I’m putting together a training schedule, being more proactive about exercising on a regular basis, putting out the “asks” as it’s called in the fundraising arena and hoping people will respond to my requests.  Anyone who has known anyone with cancer will understand the need for dollars for research.  After all, our job on earth is to have fun, experience life, and grow older and wiser.  Not fight a demon like cancer.

Climbing a mountain is much easier than someone going through chemotherapy or radiation.  Climbers must have excellent endurance and strong quads but only for 1, 2 maybe 3 days and only for 8-10 hours per day at the most.  Cancer patients must have endurance that lasts at least 6 months (a typical chemo round) if not more.  They have perseverance beyond what climbers have.  They must have a positive attitude, not unlike climbers who are hoping to reach the summit.  But their positive attitude must reign for 6 months at a minimum.

So climbing a mountain sounds easier than chemo.  That’s how I’m looking at it.  I need to prepare for the climb, one thing I have up on cancer patients.  They have no preparation—one day you’re healthy, the next day You Have Cancer.  I know what’s ahead, they don’t.  I hope you hear the mountains calling you when you visit the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer website.   Check out where we go, see what intrigues you, and sign up to Make A Difference this year, the year 2012.  It will be an experience you won’t forget.  Not unlike a cancer patient who won’t forget what it’s like to fight for one’s life.  In 2012 you can Make A Difference. 

Join me.

Editor’s note – you’ll find author, volunteer, nurse, caregiver & adventurist Karen Kilian on Mt. Rainier July 13-15 this summer!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. JP Spicer-Escalante permalink
    February 1, 2012 2:37 am

    Bravo!!! You can do it!!!

  2. March 25, 2012 1:33 pm

    A very thoughtful post Karen. Musings that reflect the challenges of both, yet also the differences that such journeys will always mean for each of us. The image above resonates greatly with both the memories and emotions there…

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