As the sun came up on January 12, 2007, Mt Cotopaxi cast a wide shadow on the valley below. It also provided a little warmth for our cold, tired crew. Sunrise meant the 24 climbers would soon be standing at 19,500’. And, we did.
That was our first summit for Jodi’s Climb For Hope. Ten years later, we’ve climbed dozens of mountains on 4 continents, gotten over 150 men, women, and children safely up and down, and raised $750,000+ for MS & breast cancer research. It’s also kept my sister’s name alive.
We’ve helped further important research and changed lives of the people who raised the money. Through our donations to Johns Hopkins University, we’ve sped up research on promising vaccine that’s showing great promise in clinical trials of advanced breast cancer. When we started the field of immunology was largely unknown and underfunded. After $500,000+ in grants, we have far more data for researchers to fine tune the process. And, now we’ve added funding to a new area of molecular biology. We’re proud that we’re providing some of the brightest minds which readily available money without filing our mountains of paperwork.
On the MS front, our mutual fund approach to providing funds to a variety of studies has played out well. The team at Johns Hopkins has provided critical work, not only on potential cure, but on improving the lives of current MS patients through better more effective medicines and approaches.
Beyond helping those affected with the disease and their families, our scores of climbers have come to understand the struggles that people with those diseases deal with on a daily basis. The volunteer fundraisers have also learned that through their hard work, they can provide hope for people and make people’s lives better.
Thank you to the dozens of climbers, hundreds of donors, and expedition companies Earth Treks & Rare Earth Adventures for helping achieve this important 10-year milestone. We had no idea what we were building when we had people sign up for the expedition. We thought we were just funding research. We wound up creating an organization of hope. Hope for the next viable treatment, and hope to help others that our climbers can carry with them up the mountain as well as throughout their lives.
We’re not done yet; I still have to fulfill the promise I made to my sister, Jodi, that her daughter would grow up in a world without breast cancer. We have more mountains to climb. For now, we’ll pause and take in the view of the valley below. We like what we see from here.