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Do Something You Have Never Done Before

January 27, 2014
Mt. Rainier today. 7.000 ft viewpoint. Taken with iPhone 5s.

Mt. Rainier today. 7.000 ft viewpoint. Taken with my iPhone 5s.

An annual resolution to lose weight is boring.  So is a pledge to “get in shape” or to “feel better about yourself”.  This year, what if you created an experience so memorable it changes you. A memory so strong it changes your thinking and your body.

When I signed up for the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer I had never hiked, never trained and certainly never climbed an ice-covered, glaciered mountain.  I’d admired  Mt. Rainier the way almost everyone does – from afar.  The CLIMB changed all that.

Climbing a mountain to help save people’s lives is a simple concept, but not an easy undertaking.   It will require time, discipline, training and patience.   Select a mountain peak near, out of state or overseas.  You solicit donations for pioneering cancer research at the Hutch.  Donors are generous when they know we are undertaking a physical task to highlight the cures of tomorrow.  A sure fire way to collect donations?  Offer a prospective donor the option of joining you on the climb, or writing a check.

Watching the sunrise from the summit of a mountain is life changing.   So is the experience of getting there.   When the wind pinches my nose, or the upward steps seem endless, I remember the heroes we’re helping.  I imagine the infinite number of uphill steps taken by Don Thomas as he risked everything to pioneer the bone marrow transplant.  Thousands of people walk among us today because he lived. I think of hearing Dr. Jean Sanders describe the first time one of her pediatric patients walked out of the hospital and into their new life, after so many patients before hadn’t made it.  I think of Dr. William Hutchinson, honoring his brother, Fred, with a legacy that has saved thousands from suffering as Fred did.  At the time of his death in 1997, after a long life, a Seattle Times editorial stated that his legacy would be his battle plan for cancer research, which was one patient, one study, one step at a time.  The metaphor for cancer research and mountains was cast long before the CLIMB was born.

As an avid outdoorsman himself, he would’ve embraced the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer.

This year, how about joining a movement that embodies bravery and encourages perseverance.  The CLIMB celebrates the footsteps both in front of and behind us.  It will change your life and help save others.  Oh, and you’ll lose weight, get in shape and feel better about yourself.

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