Fulfilling the Climb Founders’ Dreams


Community Blog
hero symbol

The founders of Climb for a Cure started not just a hike up a mountain, but a movement that survivors, caregivers, and loved ones from across the country can participate in. They founded Climb for a Cure because they knew if survivors could fight colorectal cancer (CRC), then they could climb a mountain. 

Climb for a Cure 2022 features 11 locations and numerous virtual climbs around the country. Our fundraising goal for 2022 Climb for a Cure is $250,000 to support our Path to a Cure for colorectal cancer, as we work to empower and inform patients while driving policy change and breakthrough research. 

We are so proud of and thankful for all of the relentless champions who got out there and got after it! From walking around your hospital floor to scaling actual mountains — thank you for fulfilling the dreams of our Climb founders and supporting the path to a cure for colorectal cancer.

About the Founders

Chris Ganser

In 2012, Chris was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer when he was just 34 years old and in the best shape of his life. Chris quickly got involved in CRC awareness and advocacy through The Colon Club and Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) as a Call-on Congress participant and Grassroots Action Committee member. In 2016, he teamed up with Chad Schrack and Brian Threlkeld to start the first-ever Climb for a Cure in Longs Peak, Colorado. 

“It's easy to feel a sting of defeat from colorectal cancer. Your body takes a bruising that on your worst days, you question if you'll ever recover. But the human body, just like the human spirit, is resilient. Our group of hikers who took on Longs Peak in Colorado showed us that. This group of survivors, caregivers, and friends scaled mountains to support those in the fight. They inspired us and encouraged us.”

Chris Ganser, Founder of the Climb

After Chris’ passing in 2018, Fight CRC honored him by establishing the Chris Ganser Climb for a Cure Scholarship. The scholarship is a unique opportunity for two CRC survivors to attend the in-person Climb for a Cure event.

Chad Schrack

Chad became an advocate in honor of his wife, Sheila, a stage IIIc colon cancer survivor. Over the years, the two of them have been unstoppable when it comes to raising awareness for CRC, from climbing mountains to walking the halls of Congress. In 2017, they were awarded the Community Advocate Award for advocates who are "all in." Those who go above and beyond within the year to advocate, volunteer, and/or fundraise for Fight CRC. "All in" for Chad means walking 2,800 miles across the country to raise awareness for CRC. In 2019, Chad made a pit stop to climb Quandary Peak in Breckenridge, Colorado, alongside Fight CRC advocates during his walk across America. 

"My dad and the other founders have raised not only thousands of dollars over the years but also vital awareness of the importance of screening."

Libby Schrack, Chad's daughter

Brian Threlkeld

Brian’s advocacy journey started after he was diagnosed with stage I CRC. He feels lucky that he has never had to endure chemotherapy or radiation but fears his cancer may return one day. So he continues to climb for himself and other survivors who aren’t as lucky as him. “I know what it takes to scale mountains, and I know what it takes to deal with a cancer diagnosis. I’m happy to say that each one has helped the other, and they continue to do so,” said Brian. 

Brian was so passionate about Climb for a Cure that he joined the staff in 2019 to help grow the event into what it is today. Although he has since stepped back from this role, his passion for the Climb has not wavered. He continues to join the Climb event each year. 

“We were survivors, caregivers, friends, and family, all affected by CRC in one way or another. This would be the first time we’d climb a mountain as a group, but certainly not the last,”

Brian shared after the 15-mile hike of Longs Peak in Colorado.