BENEFITING: Above + Beyond Cancer
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
GOING ABOVE + BEYOND
Above + Beyond Cancer is a public charity with a mission to reduce the burden of cancer across the globe. The organization pursues this mission through a team of internally developed “super-advocates” who leverage their creative talents as writers, filmmakers, musicians, lobbyists, fundraisers, and speakers to provide a uniquely engaging and inspirational approach to cancer advocacy.
Our advocates create a public following through participation in a variety of adventurous, physical endeavors – including recent trips to Kilimanjaro and Everest. Upon completing a program, our advocates work as citizen-lobbyists, speakers, writers, and fundraisers, who are driven to reduce the burden of cancer across the globe. Their stories have been featured by outlets including CNN and MSNBC, and are the subject of an upcoming documentary on PBS.
Our programs are free for cancer survivors and the application process is highly competitive. We select our participants on their ability to embody and advocate for specific cancer issues, and not their physical ability or prior climbing or travel experience. Most of our past participants have never been on a hiking or climbing expedition and many have never travelled outside the United States. We frequently have participants who experience their first night of camping with us on the trail.
Our teams always contain people who the public would not immediately recognize as candidates for this type of challenge. We seek participants who are climbing not in spite of their cancer, but because of their cancer. When they complete the journey, they will have overcome unbelievable odds while proving that there can be deep meaning and fulfillment in reaching for a goal that is just out of the reach of what is knowingly attainable.
Upon returning from the field, our participants view the world with new confidence and motivation, and are ready to devote themselves to a life of advocacy.