We asked a group of 2020 Virtual Climb for a Cure hikers, bikers, and swimmiers why they Climb for a Cure. Read their inspiring stories below.
Alice Marshall got involved with Fight Colorectal Cancer through social media. This lead her to apply to become a Fight CRC Ambassador. She quickly realized how great it is to share time with other people going through the same challenges as her. Alice participated in the 2019 Climb for a Cure from home by swimming. She shares why she loves to participate in the Climb for a Cure from home.
Swimming is an activity I enjoy for exercise and relaxation. It is a good way to destress, and it is great for the body. In 2019, I wanted to swim the distance equal to that of Climb for a Cure, so that was my goal, and I accomplished it. It was possible by pacing myself. I choose to continue swimming to stay physically fit so I can keep building my muscles. Since I am stage 4 colon cancer, I want to keep the strength in case I have another recurrence.
It was easy to raise awareness about my "climb" through social media. My husband came to take a picture of me when I completed the swim at the Topeka YMCA. I sent it to Fight CRC and posted it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
It was great to see how others were participating in Colorado and all over the country on social media. It is empowering to see colorectal cancer survivors pushing themselves to reach their goals.
For the 2020 Virtual Climb for a Cure, I plan to swim again.
If you want to participate in this year's Climb for a Cure, my suggestion is to think of an activity that is enjoyable. For me, it is swimming. But you have options such as walking, running, biking, rowing, etc. This is a great time to get outdoors as well. Find a hiking trail near your house and plan a route. Whatever your plan is, set a goal and move your body. Excited to climb alongside survivors, caregivers, and loved ones virtually!
Caregiver, Kacey Cutri participated in the Virtual Climb for a Cure event last year. She shares why she is participating again this year!
At 36 years old, my husband was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer just after Thanksgiving of 2018. After the initial shock wore off, I searched for a support group on Facebook so I could learn more about our road ahead. Fight CRC was the first group to appear and after visiting their website I knew I wanted to be apart of the team. I remember not too long after my husband started chemo in early 2019 I saw a post on their Facebook page about Climb for a Cure. With everything my husband was going through, I thought the fundraiser was just the pick me up he needed to continue fighting his battle.
Our hike took place on Saturday, July 27th. It was a beautiful, yet very hot day! My group consisted of 30 friends and family there to support my husband and everyone else battling colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, just a few weeks prior we found out we were pregnant with twins (via IVF) so my doctor did not allow me to climb the trail. Before my team started, I handed out bracelets, and pins that they could wear (thanks to Anna for sending me the supplies!). Then they were on their way! It was 8 miles from start to finish. I stayed at the bottom of the mountain eagerly awaiting their return. In the meantime, I was being sent pictures from the group. I could see how much fun they were having and it broke my heart that I couldn’t be apart of it.
I decided to spread the word through social media. I created a flyer and in April was my first post to Instagram and Facebook. I kept track of those interested in joining and followed up on a weekly basis. I’m sure I became annoying at some point but, this meant a lot to me and I didn’t want to let my husband down.
Raising money was easier than I thought. We kept sharing the link on social media and before I knew it, I was getting emails about donations being made and checks were being sent to our house.
I always felt support from Fight CRC. I plan on making the climb a yearly event for as long as I can. Now that our son is born, I want him to be apart of such an important occasion. It’s imperative he knows as much as he can since he will be going for early screenings.
To those uncertain I say, don’t think about it and just do it. After seeing what my husband went through from being told he has cancer, to having a chemo port placed, going through chemo, radiation, and then extensive surgery... I would climb every mountain in the world if it meant I got to spend another day with him.
Denelle is a rectal cancer survivor and a Fight CRC ambassador she shares her Climb for a Cure journey below.
After attending my first event with the Fight Colorectal Cancer organization at Call on Congress, I was so empowered. Storming Capitol Hill with people from every walk of life that are not only trying to change the face of colorectal cancer on a national level through policy and advocacy, but they were climbing mountains. I’m not talking about the metaphorical mountains, I’m talking 13,000+ foot mountains in the most beautiful parts of the United States. As a rectal cancer survivor, I wanted to be a part of that experience.
Reaching the peak of the mountain was the most rewarding part of the experience of the event. I convinced myself I wasn’t even going to try. I was truly scared to climb that mountain. I was mostly afraid I wasn’t going to make it to the top and that would have been soul-crushing.
When I saw my team face to face, I thought, “What did I get myself into?” I was surrounded by such athletic people, but without them, I couldn’t have made it to the top. We started as a group but quickly lost sight of each other. My best friend Lisa Johnson and her husband Chad never left my side. The voice of Doug Dallman in my head saying, “This isn’t a race, Denelle. We will all make it to the top, step by step”. I kept myself as mindful as I could. I only focused on each step. When things got bad, I thought of all my friends that never would be able to do this or where currently too sick to make the climb. Each step I spoke their name out loud: Diana, April, Britt, Merideth, Peg, dad, Chris, and the names go on...
If you beat cancer, imagine what else you can do. Take those risks, don’t let fear get into your head. If you don’t think you can do it, think again. Like I was told repeatedly, this is not a race. It is also okay if you try and don’t make it. Once you reach that peak, you will be elated with joy, celebration, and the empowerment to say what's next?
Stage IV survivor and Fight CRC board member Teri Griege shares how she got her mojo back.
If any of you are like me the pandemic has been personally challenging on many levels. I have had a difficult time staying motivated, being positive, even living in some fear. I lost my get up and go. Then, I read a quote that said-
I lost my mojo, now what?
No matter how motivated you are sooner or later you are going to lose your mojo, regardless of what kind of superhero you think you are. The anecdote is simple, when you lose your mojo or feel unmotivated, simply revisit the purpose of what you are doing. Purpose is what fuels motivation. Losing your mojo just means you lost the connection with your purpose. When purpose becomes blurred or forgotten in any venture, task, or relationship interest and motivation will soon follow. Why always comes before what.
As I registered for Fight CRC's 2020 Climb of a Cure, as with most upcoming events this summer, I was struggling-I had lost my mojo.
Then I remembered the quote-- Purpose is what fuels motivation. Why always comes before what. That reminder of purpose and why was all I needed to rekindle my motivation. My why--I climb for a cure!! I climb for everyone who has ever been affected by colorectal cancer. I climb to raise awareness. I climb to raise money for research. I climb so my kids won't get this disease. I climb so one day there will be a world without cancer.
This year we won't be able to climb an actual mountain. The Climb for a Cure has gone virtual, but that won't stop me. I have my mojo back.
When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. And, when you know your why you can endure anyhow.
So, join me with your why, passion, and purpose, and let’s see how far we can all climb together virtually on August 15th.
One Million Steps for over one million cancer survivors. We are relentless champions of hope.