From June 21 to 27, a team of 29 inspiring women and men will climb the 14,162-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California with the Breast Cancer Fund's 10th Climb Against the Odds, a mountain expedition for breast cancer prevention. Over the next several weeks, climber and breast cancer survivor Jennifer Wilson of Delray Beach, Fla., will contribute her thoughts on the journey of Climb Against the Odds. Please join us during the week of June 21 for live posts as the climbers make their way up Mt. Shasta.
"Last February, I was a normal 44-year-old, juggling work, family, volunteer activities, exercise, and social life. Last March, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My life changed, as I went through surgery, five months of chemotherapy, and two months of daily radiation.
After the initial shock followed by the traumatic decision-making, I knew that I needed to do something about this life experience. I was a young healthy positive person who had gotten breast cancer. I started attending a young breast cancer survivors group and saw, not a couple, but a large room full of other young survivors. A few had immediate family history, but many were like me.
I began investigating ways I could start using this unfortunate opportunity to an advantage. As a runner, I knew of and had participated in many fundraisers for various charities, including breast cancer. As I searched for fundraisers specific to breast cancer, I came across the Breast Cancer Fund's Climb Against the Odds. I knew I had found the perfect match: an organization that looks at the preventable causes of cancer and an event that allowed me to do one of my favorite activities - hiking. I knew the climb would be a stretch, having to recover from treatment and get my strength back, but I also felt it would bring me important mental and physical challenges as a survivor. This, while helping to prevent other people from going through my experience.
I signed up and started fundraising and regaining my strength so I could train. I'm so excited about this opportunity, so I will be blogging to share my journey with you. I'll try to answer the questions that beg to be asked. How does a Floridian train for a 14,162 foot climb? How heavy is 30 pounds (preview: really heavy!)? What was I thinking? And I'll share all the special moments with you. Thanks for following!"
Meet our 2009 Climb Against the Odds team and consider supporting their efforts!