Sarah Broadus recently demonstrated strength in navigating colon cancer and pushing boundaries when she hiked Mount Mitchell while participating in Fight CRC’s Climb for a Cure this past August. 

In May 2021, Sarah was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. After rounds of chemotherapy, a DPD deficiency diagnosis, and losing her hair and a lot of weight, Sarah successfully completed the North Carolina Climb for a Cure hike. 

Along the way to the Climb summit on Mount Mitchell, Sarah rediscovered parts of herself that she feared she had lost forever. 

Feisty by nature, Sarah shares her and her family's reasons to Climb below. She also explains why navigating colon cancer and pushing boundaries is vital to her, as well as why she feels so passionately about Climb for a Cure.

Reasons to Climb

Climb for a Cure 2022 was my first Climb. There are quite a few great reasons for myself and family to Climb, which were to:

  • Prove to myself that I could do it.
  • Meet some of my colon cancer community in person.
  • Raise awareness for colon cancer.

For me, Climb represented the past year of my life. Also, Climb for a Cure is important to my family because it raises awareness for colon cancer.

From diagnosis to Climb, each step was one step toward the summit. I wanted to prove to myself that I still had strength after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

Learning About and Preparing to Climb

I learned about Climb for a Cure from JJ Singleton, Fight CRC Ambassador, class of 2022, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of North Carolina. Hailing from Georgia, I noticed Atlanta’s options for an outdoor Climb are not as spectacular as North Carolina’s views.

My preparation for Climb started by hydrating months prior. Using climbing/walking poles came in handy! I also suggest bringing a BAND-AID® or two since rocks are sharper than they appear. 

Todd, my husband, joined me on Climb for a Cure. He was a Chris Ganser Scholarship recipient. Because Todd is a volunteer youth football coach, I knew having him along would be good for us. 

My Fight CRC friends, JJ Singleton and Joe Bullock, also participated in — and hosted — this Climb.

I remember looking around at one point, realizing that we were no longer on a path. We were just walking through the woods on the side of a mountain. Honestly, I thought we would be on a paved path the whole time. So, when nature surrounded me, I was a bit surprised.

Colon Cancer and Pushing Boundaries Advice

My Climb for a Cure advice has so many parallels with my colon cancer diagnosis advice. I would tell people the same things about both. 

  1. You are absolutely OK to be afraid. 
  2. It is a physical challenge. 
  3. You will not be alone.
  4. Many of the participants are in treatment so it is not a race, but a journey from start to finish. 
  5. You have to put one foot in front of the other to reach your goal. When obstacles get in the way, keep focused on what your goal is.

Comedy in Climb

Climb for a Cure isn’t necessarily a solemn, serious experience.

For instance, I was walking with my group, and we were almost at the summit. We were chatting about how beautiful nature was.

Meanwhile, there was a researcher in our group, and he was talking about how he loved being outdoors, except he didn’t like wildlife. 

Moments after he said this statement, we stumbled upon some fresh bear tracks. We all looked at each other, laughed, and then put a little pep in our step until we reached the summit.

Colon Cancer and Pushing Boundaries Sarah Broadus and Fight CRC Climb for a Cure Group with Flag

Strength Through Colon Cancer and Pushing Boundaries

My proudest Climb 2022 moment is being here to talk about it. Seriously – just completing it. I knew it was going to be tough, so just finishing the entire Climb was an award for me. At the end of the day, I felt strong and empowered. And I also felt ready for a nap.  

"What I would like people to know is this: I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in May 2021. Then, I underwent rounds of chemo and DPD deficiency diagnosis. Finally, I lost all of my hair and most of my weight. I fought hard to be here. Signing up for the Climb was the first step in my process of reclaiming my life, post-cancer diagnosis."

Sarah Broadus, stage IV colon cancer survivor

Climb allowed me to see a little bit of the old me, when I thought she was all gone. I know I’ll never be the same. But I also know that the rough terrain of cancer is easier navigated with a support system like the colon cancer community.

Just one year and three months after my stage IV colon cancer diagnosis, I hiked as a #RelentlessClimber with a group of cancer survivors and caregivers up Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. And I did it!

Continuing the Climb Impact

Be a part of our community of relentless champions, climbing together to end colorectal cancer. Climb for a Cure raises funds to support our Path to a Cure for colorectal cancer, as we empower and inform patients while driving policy change and breakthrough research. 

Ultimately, Climb stories like Sarah's highlight why it's essential to continue navigating colon cancer and pushing boundaries whether you're newly diagnosed or on maintenance therapy.

It’s not too late to make an impact in the fight against colorectal cancer. We are almost at the $1,000,000 mark! Can you help us smash that goal?

Share Your #ClimbForACure Story

Do you have a Climb for Cure story or experience you would like to share? Create a reel or video telling us about it. Tag us at @FightCRC, on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. Be sure to include the hashtags #ClimbForACure and #RelentlessClimber!

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