More than 74 rock climbers and hikers helped HERA spread the word and raise funds for the disease
6/22/10 - The HERA Women's Cancer Foundation (Health, Empowerment, Research, Awareness) completed another successful HERA Climb4Life event, raising more than $27,000 for its ovarian cancer research and community grant programs and awareness initiatives. The non-profit's Fourth Annual HERA Climb4Life Colorado, held June 11 and 12, 2010, drew 28 volunteers, 74 participants and four professional climbers including Olivia Hsu with Sterling Rope, Jason Kehl with La Sportiva, Alli Rainey with prAna, and Chris Schulte with Black Diamond.
Presented by REI Boulder, Boulder Rock Club, and Colorado Mountain School, HERA Climb4Life Colorado welcomed outdoor enthusiasts to hike and climb in and around the canyons and trails of the Boulder area. Inclement weather meant that the climbing activities actually took place indoors at the Boulder Rock Club, but six participants and two volunteer guides braved the elements to complete their planned hike. The event included outdoor skills clinics for the first time, including wilderness first aid basics and a bouldering clinic with the professional climbers. To round out the weekend, the event also featured yoga classes, sports massage, gear giveaways, a screening of the film Higher Ground as well as kick-off and closing event celebrations hosted by Avery Brewing Company and Sublime Catering.
Funds were raised through the individual fundraising efforts of participants and volunteers. This year's top fundraisers include Maggie Luck, Lee Smith and Cathy Badell, who each won an outdoor gear prize package. The top fundraising team, Team Donna, won REI gift cards to distribute among its members.
"Climb4Life Colorado was, once again, a successful event thanks to the continued support of volunteers, participants and the Boulder and Denver communities," says Cathy Badell, event chairwoman of HERA Climb4Life Colorado. "A highlight of the weekend was when Maggie Luck, one of the top fundraisers this year and an ovarian cancer survivor, shared her inspiring story of perseverance."
Maggie was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer in October 2008 and was told she had a five percent chance of survival. Maggie was determined to beat the cancer, and she felt that staying physically active was critical to her recovery. Maggie continued to exercise during her treatment, and incredibly, only seven months after enduring chemotherapy and surgery, she ran a marathon. Maggie has now been healthy and without re-occurrence for more than 15 months. Her story reminds us all why we participate in Climb4Life and reaffirms the importance of raising funds for ovarian cancer research and education programs.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in 71 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Early diagnosis increases the five-year survival rate to 93 percent; however, less than 20 percent of all ovarian cancer is found at the early stage. The mission of the HERA Foundation is to stop the loss of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, wives, partners, and girlfriends from ovarian cancer. Funds raised support HERA's cause, including the OSB1 Grant that's awarded annually to Ph.D. and M.D. fellows at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston.
The next Climb4Life event is the 9th Annual Climb4Life Utah from September 16-19, 2010. For more information, please visit www.herafoundation.org
About the HERA Foundation The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of women and girls 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. HERA is an acronym for Health, Empowerment, Research and Awareness. For more information, visit www.herafoundation.org