SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 10, 2017 – “You have colorectal cancer” are words that may bring some down, but a group of survivors, caregivers and their friends are out to lift others up. A group of 30 are planning to hike the Colorado mountains of Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron and Mt. Lincoln starting at Kite Lake Trailhead outside of Alma, Co. on July 30-31 to inspire those facing colorectal cancer to get active in spite of a diagnosis, and to raise awareness of the disease – the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
The two-day event, called Climb for a Cure, will bring people together to build camaraderie, an important aspect for survivors who often feel alone and isolated while facing cancer. Brian Threlkeld, a stage I survivor who will return for the climb this year said,
“As a stage I colorectal cancer survivor, I feel seriously lucky. I know many who aren’t, and weren’t, as lucky as me. I never had to endure chemotherapy or radiation, but I still have to deal with the fear that my cancer might return someday and I need to be ready for it. When you find the motivation and the fortitude to keep climbing, it becomes easier to find those same characteristics in other parts of life. You gain literal perspective. You can see where you’ve been and how you got to where you are now. That reward system is real, tangible and relatable.”
In addition to building a support community, the event also encourages both the hikers and other patients and survivors following their stories, many via social media, to get active. Research from the American Cancer Society, The American College of Sports Medicine and others show that exercise can reduce the risk of recurrence, increase quality of life, improve balance and help manage side effects like fatigue and nausea. The hike is one way to get moving, although there’s many ways a to do a low-impact workout.
“Some great forms of exercise include brisk walking, yoga, swimming, and bike riding,” said Sharyn Worrall, Fight CRC patient resource manager. “If you get your doctor’s OK, aim for about 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of exercise per week, including 2 days of strength training. It’s a great idea to have a workout buddy to help with accountability and to keep it fun!”
Climb for a Cure began in 2016 when a group of Fight CRC advocates saw a need to build support amongst those living with colorectal cancer – both as survivors and caregivers – and the opportunity to rally those interested in outdoor activities. The first hike was at Longs Peak in July 2016; this year will be the second event the group hopes to see be planned annually.
While the hikers are climbing mountains, those unable to join them are encouraged to track their adventure through Fight CRC’s Instagram at @FightCRC. Donations can also be made to each hiker’s fundraising page. All proceeds will support additional awareness and education activities such as the hike.
The hike is generously sponsored by Epigenomics, FedEx and Taiho.
For more information on how to participate or donate, visit https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/events/survivors-summit-annual-hike/
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight CRC is a national nonprofit advocacy organization fighting for a cure. It was founded in 2005 by Nancy Roach, a patient advocate who witnessed the need for colorectal cancer advocacy after her mother-in-law’s diagnosis. The organization plays an important role in rallying colorectal cancer advocates to action. Fight CRC is known for activism and patient empowerment throughout patient, academic, political, scientific, medical and nonprofit communities. With a mission focused on advocacy, research, patient education and awareness, the organization serves advocates in every state of the U.S. and many others around the world. Fight CRC is a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator and 93 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to colorectal cancer programs. To learn more, visit FightCRC.org.