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LaDon Reyes' Fundraiser:

Love Lisa: Climb Kilimanjaro to Cure Cancer

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BENEFITING: RadiatingHope: Advancing Cancer Care Globally

ORGANIZER: Spencer

EVENT DATE: Mar 16, 2014

LaDon Reyes

THE STORY:

Spencer Hayter wrote -

     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.
     In March 2014, I will join 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.
     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.     

     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. We purchased tickets for an Alaskan cruise to celebrate, but it was not to be. Last 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. 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 (a bonus and 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 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 and so many others, it doesn’t always have to be. Most, if not all of us, know someone who has faced this struggle, and this is our chance to answer back. 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.

Visit Radiating Hope's Website: www.RadiatingHope.org

The Team: $10,125 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

Spencer Hayter

Amount Raised

$8,725

 

109% Raised of $8,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Raleigh Hayter

Amount Raised

$485

Fundraiser Title

Rachel Wearstler

Amount Raised

$270

Fundraiser Title

Sarah Cook

Amount Raised

$235

Fundraiser Title

Harry Hayter

Amount Raised

$210

Fundraiser Title

Michael Hayter

Amount Raised

$200

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