Ovarian Cancer Survivor Beats the Odds and Fights for a Cause

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Ovarian Cancer Survivor Beats the Odds and Fights for a Cause

(Boulder/Denver, CO) April 10, 2007, Ovarian cancer survivor and rock climber Eden Ellman gets her employer and friends at the Boulder Rock Club involved with the Front Range’s first HERA Foundation Climb4Life event, a fun, climbing focused event that raises money and awareness for ovarian cancer. To be held June 15-17.

Ellman confronted a diagnosis of ovarian cancer four years ago and beat the odds by crushing it with surgery and intensive chemotherapy. In order to deal with the terrifying daily stress of the disease, including feelings of imminent death, she reached out to other cancer survivors. What she found changed her life. Through a climber friend, Ellman connected with the HERA Foundation and founder Sean Patrick, another ovarian cancer survivor. Patrick convinced her of the importance of raising awareness for this particular, more obscure kind of cancer.

“Ovarian cancer is now where breast cancer was 20 years ago,” Ellman says, quoting from a conversation she had with Patrick. “HERA not only is working to raise money, but also to raise awareness so that women are alerted to early symptoms and therefore to early diagnosis and treatment, which directly correlates to survival rates.”

Knowing this, it was easy for Ellman to spearhead efforts through the Boulder Rock Club to recruit volunteers, set up the relaxation room (massage and yoga classes are provided at all Climb4Life events), and lead efforts for the Survivors2Summit project, a part of Climb4Life that teaches cancer survivors climbing skills and gets them to the top of one of Boulder’s local rock formations.

“It gives me something to do in the fight against my cancer,” says Ellman of her involvement. “When I was diagnosed with cancer I tended to feel pretty powerless. In working for HERA I am taking an active role in my own future, as well as the future of other women, especially young girls like my nieces.”

Plus, adds Ellman, “Volunteering for a cause in general makes you feel good about yourself. It connects you to the human condition.”

Ellman, Patrick, and close to 200 volunteers and climbers will be participating in Boulder’s first HERA Climb4Life event this June 15-17. This event features plenty of food and drink, numerous fun activities and, of course, plenty of climbing. A variety of free, “learn to climb” clinics will be held in the area, including “Intro 2 Climbing” (contact your local REI and the Boulder Rock Club for more information). For more information on Survivors2Summit and the pre-event clinics, contact Eden Ellman at eden@ezlink.com. For more information on or to register as a participant for this summer’s event, please visitwww.climb4lifeco.kintera.org. There are a limited number of spaces for this event. So register now!

The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and girlfriends from ovarian cancer by empowering women to take control of their health, empowering the medical community to find new directions in ovarian cancer research and empowering communities to provide support. For more information, please visit www.herafoundation.org. To schedule an interview with HERA Foundation founder Sean Patrick please call 970.948.7360.