One Mountain. Many Milestones.
The Mt. Hood Climb to Fight Breast Cancer is always an experience to cherish – particularly this weekend.
Five breast cancer survivors were among our 18 climbers raising money, awareness, and appreciation for the groundbreaking research occurring every day within the walls of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Mt. Hood has marked the kick-off of the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer season for many years. It’s where the Hutch celebrates recovery, honors loved ones, mourns friends and overcomes exhausting challenges.
Tricia Otto recounted her personal roller coaster living through diagnosis and recovery. Eighteen months after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, she stood on the summit of her state’s largest landmark greeting the sunrise last Sunday morning, and dedicating the climb to her 6-year old daughter, Ariel.
“When I was first diagnosed, I thought, how can this be happening to me? It has been an eye-opening journey and I thank God for my early detection, all the wonderful doctors involved in my care, and the continued research in my life.”
Barb Slack, 12 year survivor and mom to a preteen daughter, said “I support breast cancer research with my boots or my bucks. This year it’s my boots.”
Three-time breast cancer survivor Lynn Lippert, the inspiration behind the Mt. Hood Survivor Climb says, “Everything is easy after chemo.” Lynn and her partner of 30 years, Sal Jepson, matched the donations of her friends and family to create a named endowment at the Hutch.
Scott Smiles started climbing to fund a cure after his thirteen year old niece lost her mother to breast cancer. He climbs so other young girls don’t have to experience such a devastating loss.
Third grade teacher and first time climber Alaura Keith, the mother of two teenage boys, was diagnosed at age 37 with triple
negative breast cancer. She kept teaching through her year of chemo, radiation and surgery. Her elementary school supported her fundraising efforts and was featured recently on KOMO 4 television. Alaura tearfully recounted that she decided to climb a mountain to help raise money for research. “I can do that through fundraising and I can give that to Fred Hutch so they can figure this all out,” she said. “I pray that that money does that.”
This summer marks the five year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis.
One mountain. Many milestones.
Climb a Mountain. Save a Life.