Over the next month we will feature the inspiring members of the 2014 Climb Against the Odds team as part of a series called Meet the Climber. Climb Against the Odds is the Breast Cancer Fund's annual mountaineering expedition for breast cancer prevention. Each year an amazing team of women and men from across the country gathers to attempt to summit the 14,179-ft. Mt. Shasta in support of the Breast Cancer Fund's groundbreaking work to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to the toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. Each climber will arrive with very personal reasons to climb, yet together the team will show anything is possible with mutual support, determination and hard work. You can learn more about each climber at our Meet the Team page and follow this series.
We’re kicking it off with Jill Zastko.
At 39, Jill Zastko of Columbus, Ohio, was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. When she was first diagnosed, everyone around her was in shock. As she told her friends and family about her diagnosis, so many of them asked: "How could this happen to you? You're the healthiest person I know." She wanted to understand too. She started to educate herself, so she could strengthen her chances for long-term disease-free survival. She found the Breast Cancer Fund's website to be a trusted source of information.
Jill decided to join the climb in a moment of determination, and grief. Her friend Stacy Reynolds, lost her own battle with this disease in July of 2013, at the age of thirty. Jill was inspired by Stacy’s love of the mountains, and her dreams to climb Mount Everest. When she saw the registration for the 2014 Climb, she knew that she had to try. “It was also one small way I could give back to so many who have supported me through my own recovery from breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, and who have also asked me for more information on reducing their risk.”