Spencer Hayter via Crowdrise
March 01, 2014
BENEFITING: RadiatingHope: Advancing Cancer Care Globally
EVENT DATE: Mar 16, 2014
Check out Radiating Hope here: http://radiatinghope.org/index.php
Stretch Goal: $12,000!
All donated funds go directly to Radiating Hope, I must raise a total of $8,000 to be able to join the climb to help Kili cancer. I will be paying for my ticket and supplies out of my own pocket.
I will be joining a select group of largely amateur mountaineers who will climb the tallest mountain on the African continent in a fundraising endeavor to bring cancer services to the surrounding community in Moshi, Tanzania. No cancer center currently exists in that region of Tanzania. All funds raised through this climb will go directly to the building of this cancer center. http://radiatinghope.org/pages/tanzania.html
Our team will carry prayer flags in honor of those who have faced the struggle of cancer head on. High at the summit, we will fly these flags, which are inscribed with names of individuals who have in some way been afflicted by cancer.
HONOR A LOVED ONE:
"Base camp" package: $20.00
Includes a certificate for the prayer flag recipient, as well as a real Tibetan prayer flag. The recipient’s initials will be placed on the expedition prayer flag, and the recipient can follow the flag’s journey on the Radiating Hope blog.
"Summit" package: $250
Includes a certificate for the prayer flag recipient, as well as a real Tibetan prayer flag. The recipient’s initials will be placed on the expedition prayer flag, and the recipient can follow the flag’s journey on our blog.http://radiatinghope.org/pages/blog.php
The recipient will receive a beautifully framed prayer flag. Dimensions: 14" width x 18" height. (preview here: http://radiatinghope.org/pages/prayerflags.html)
- How Will I Prepare?
Living on the North Shore of Oahu, a stones throw away from the beach, it will be difficult to prepare my body for the extreme altitudes at which we will be climbing. So I will be training extra hard. "Climbing a mountain is a perfect symbol of an individual patient's battle with cancer. Oftentimes, as you climb higher and higher, you feel the physical strain of the climb, and also sometimes the sickness that goes along with high altitudes. Yet you climb on! The summit in your sights, you push through physical pain, mental exhaustion and push yourself to new physical and emotional heights."
- Why Africa?
Today, cancer is the leading cause of death in Africa, killing more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Radiating Hope is dedicated to advance cancer care in developing countries, and is addressing the lack of cancer care in Africa.
Radiation therapy is a vital component of most cancer treatments. Approximately 60-70% of all cancer patients in the US will receive some form of radiation therapy. Most people living in developing nations do not have access to this crucial treatment, due to a lack of radiation equipment.
- Why Climb?
Nearly two years ago my dear sister, Lisa, was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer. At the time, the prognosis was good. She had every reason to believe she would live a long and productive life as a cancer-survivor. Unfortunately, only nine months later Lisa was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and the breast cancer became merely the first in a series of challenges that would tap strength reserves that most of us rarely have to utilize. Again, we had hope that this cancer also had been caught early enough and Lisa would be cured. Lisa gracefully endured her chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The results looked very positive. In February we purchased tickets for an Alaskan cruise to celebrate, but it was not to be. In April, a few weeks after Lisa had finished her treatments, we received news that the cancer in her body had spread to her spine. The cancer had been actively growing despite the best efforts of Lisa and her doctors. And by June Lisa had lost the use of her legs, but she fought on and made the most of a dire situation.
F.O.E: Family over Everything. Some might look at this and think of that statement as overboard or idealistic, but for our family, it is how we have always done it. As the last born of nine children with a 20 year gap from the oldest to me, I grew up with more than just a mom and dad; I had a lot of extra baby-sitters, advice givers, stylists, and sports coaches (usually a bonus, sometimes a burden). My oldest sister, Lisa, is irreplaceable and has been integral in shaping me into the man I am today. She has always been there for me. After losing our Mother to cancer in 2001, Lisa stepped in to fill a vacancy. I was 13 years old and needed someone who could help me through those formative years. I went from diapers to driver’s license with Lisa always by my side.
As the seriousness of Lisa’s prognosis set in, we realized it was time to rally the troops--In a family of nine children, that can really be quite a substantial group. This unseen killer wasn’t new to us, we had faced it head on for nearly five years when our dear mother was taken in 2001, and again when our father was diagnosed in 2007 (he continues his battle today). And we were ready to face it again.
I met Dr. Brandon Fisher early this year when I went with Lisa to one of her appointments. In the following months, I had many opportunities to get to know him better. I witnessed his desire to go the extra mile and do everything in his power to help his patients firsthand. When he told us about an organization he founded called Radiating Hope, I was instantly intrigued and knew I would become a part of this great cause.
I made the decision to climb Kilimanjaro because I want to raise awareness of the terrible struggle that is everywhere in this world. Cancer is treatable, and often curable if caught early on and treated properly. And while it has been a losing battle for Lisa, my Mom, and so many others, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Most, if not all of us, know someone who has faced this struggle, and this is our chance to honor them. We can make a difference and step forward in the battle against this silent killer. We can try to save the lives of mothers and fathers who have families to take care of. We can help give life to those young children who suffer needlessly only because they were born in a country that does not have the proper medical facilities to provide them with the treatment and attention needed to overcome this disease.
With faith and hope, Lisa courageously battled the cancer that ultimately took her life. Even in her battle, what she did for those around her will make us stronger and closer in the coming years as we honor her memory. Lisa made you proud to say you knew her. I know that she would be right by my side climbing the mountain with me if she were here today. And I know that if through Radiating Hope we can make the difference of even just one life, it will all be worth it in the end.
Love you Lisa!