Friday, February 18, 2011

Climbing For A Cause

Gina Mandy and I

My wife and I have been involved in our local Relay For Life since its inception in 2007. My wife is the chairperson and I am the online chair and the accounting chair. American Cancer Society volunteers hold more than 5,000 Relay For Life events in the United States. There are also Relay For Life events held in 19 countries around the world. One of those countries is Australia.

One of the Australian Relay For Life stories that I recently came across was the story of Sharon Cohrs. Sharon and her husband are avid mountain climbers, and in 2007 they were preparing to climb Aconcagua, a 22,841 foot tall peak in South America, the highest mountain outside of Asia, when Sharon found a pea-sized lump in her left breast. After a biopsy and days of waiting, she learned she had breast cancer. “Instead of embarking on an amazing adventure with my husband doing what we love, I was undergoing surgery and chemotherapy treatment,” she says.

Sharon had climbed several soaring mountains in the past 4 years, but this time she was scaling a different kind of mountain. Taking “one step at a time,” she remained focused, positive, and determined to beat breast cancer.

Now she is “Climbing for a Cause” in an effort to raise $250,000 for cancer research and to bring awareness to the disease. With a goal of being the first breast cancer survivor in the world to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Sharon climbed Ama Dablam in Nepal in October 2009 and is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Cho Oyu in Nepal this year. When Sharon reaches the peak of each mountain, she showcases her Relay For Life pride by putting on her Relay shirt and taking a photo with her homemade banner saying, “Survivors can conquer mountains.”

Sharon’s story is an incredible message of hope. If you are a cancer survivor with a story to tell, will you share your story as well to motivate survivors worldwide to keep up the fight? Use this form to submit your message of hope and encouragement to cancer survivors across the globe, then encourage friends and family to do the same. Help us gather 1,000 messages of hope by the end of February! The more messages we have, the stronger our collective voice will be.


  1. What a remarkable survivor... as they all are. Thanks for sharing Sharon's story.

  2. That is a horrible disease and knows how to mutate so you think you found a way to kill it and it takes on new ways to survive .The only way to beat it is to strengthen your immune system and let your blood soldiers fight them but how to do this?
    How do you make super heroes out of your blood cells?