Climbing Mt. Shasta for the Elizabeth B. Hunt Memorial Fund
Team Member: Becky McLaughlin
EVENT DATE May 28, 2016
Bethany Sullivan wrote -
This January we lost our beloved friend and sorority sister, Elizabeth "Lyz" Hunt, to oral cancer. We have since come to the realization that the only way for us to honor Lyz's blazing spirit, love of the outdoors, and deep compassion for others is to do as Lyz would have done: climb a mountain. And not just any mountain. We are talking the likes of Kilimanjaro, Rainier, or Whitney. We want to face our fears and push our limits to see if we can experience life in its most visceral form, while raising money for those who are battling oral cancer. We--Drea Castillo, Rebecca Carvatt, and Bethany Sullivan--ask for your support as we spend the next 3.5 months training to summit the indomitable Mt. Shasta. The three of us have gone on plenty of adventures before and done our fair share of hiking but we have never attempted an alpine style climb. We'll need to learn a thing or two about crampons and ice axes and sleeping on snow (in a tent, of course). Our climb is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend and we hope that by that time we will have met our fundraising goal of $14,000 to match the amount currently set aside in the Elizabeth B. Hunt Memorial Fund, a charitable trust set up to fulfill Lyz's wishes. Every dollar you help us raise will go directly towards Lyz's fund, which in turn will further enable the Oral Cancer Foundation to provide valuable support services to oral cancer survivors, oral cancer education to the public, and sponsorship of research into life saving medical treatment and disease etiology, among other vital endeavors. Thank you for your support. We miss you, Lyz. About Lyz (excerpt from her Memorial Fund page): A devoted wife, a loving daughter and sister, and a true friend, Elizabeth Bridgforth Hunt lived a full and adventurous 31 years. Born in Danville, Virginia, Elizabeth was proud graduate of Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia, and the College of William & Mary, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Orchesis Dance Company. Elizabeth worked and studied in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and throughout Europe. Her faith and her boundless spirit led her to travel all over the world. With the Last Well, she summited mountains to provide drinking water in Liberia. With her family and friends, she hiked, dived, skied, hunted warthogs, laughed, and danced in countless countries. She completed an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Her husband, parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues will remember that amidst her dynamism and ambition, she most valued quality time with loved ones, especially on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Elizabeth’s character was most evident in her approach to her disease; she never wasted a day. Elizabeth noticed an ulcer on her tongue in February 2015 and was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. She underwent extensive surgery to remove the primary malignancy and reconstruct her mouth and tongue. Just days after surgery, she astounded her nurses and doctors by walking a mile around the halls of the surgical trauma ICU. Elizabeth underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, while still living the life she loved - walking, practicing yoga, traveling, and completing work projects. In September 2015, scans indicated that disease had returned to her tongue and metastasized in her neck, lungs, and hip. Elizabeth and Andy searched the country for the best available treatment and ultimately traveled to Houston to participate in a Phase 1 immunotherapy trial. The progression of her tumors steadily eroded her ability to eat, speak, and walk, but the disease never shook her resolve to live better or her fierce independence. During a visit to the emergency room, Elizabeth complained not of her chronic pain or fatigue, but rather of boredom. Elizabeth passed away peacefully on January 6, 2016.