Going Another Step Further
So proud of you Jill! xoxo Rachel
Ms. Jill Zastko
Donna DiMichele & Marc Hamilton
Lanny & Judy Reynolds in Memory of Stacy Reynolds
Anna Miller in honor of Charlotte Miller
Scott and Paulette Smith
Go Jill!!! - Mike
Jeremy and Lisa Smith
Diley Hill Animal Emergency Center
Cindy Theriault Abrahamson
Cori (Tori's friend). Good luck and HAVE FUN!!
Brent and Tori Johnson
Erika & David Chitty
Angie & Rick Burchfield
Ms. Linda Zastko
AMITESH REDDY KALAVAKURU
Bert Nelson in honor of Julia Nelson
Rebecca and Marshall King
Stuart & Laney Burgdoerfer
Beth Logan (I support you 100%...but, I'm really loving Holly's jewelry!!)
MAY YOU SOAR ON EAGLE'S WINGS, LOVE BETSY
Des & Bella
Stefanie, Kevin & Xavier
Ashley & Sara
Marianne M. Smith
WHY I CLIMB:
The picture at the right is of my mom with me and sister, Holly, shortly after she was born. One of the hardest parts of having breast cancer was having to tell my mom and my sisters (I have two) that I had been diagnosed. I am working with the Breast Cancer Fund so we can start to make a difference for future generations. As we know, a lot of exposures that influence this disease start even before we're born. We've got mountains to climb, but the team and I are ready to show: it can be done!
This is what climbing a mountain is all about: Going One Step Further. Will you join me, a young breast cancer survivor, in bringing us Another Step Further toward Education and Prevention, until one day we can say we truly beat Breast Cancer?
Since August last year I have been training to climb 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California. At the same time, I'm fundraising in support of the Breast Cancer Fund's groundbreaking work to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.
I decided to join the Climb Against the Odds 2014 team in a moment of determination, and grief. My friend Stacy Reynolds, lost her own battle with this disease in July of 2013, at the age of thirty. I was inspired by Stacy’s love of the mountains, and her dreams to climb Mount Everest. When I saw the registration for the 2014 Climb, I knew that I had to try. It was also one small way I could give back to so many who have supported me through my own recovery from breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, and who have also asked me for more information on reducing their risk.
In many ways, I've been in training for this climb since my diagnosis of Stage II Breast Cancer, in June 2010, at the age of 39. I underwent mastectomy and started 15 month of chemotherapy that summer. I am currently taking a daily medication to help reduce my risk of recurrence. There is no guarantee that I am cured. My continued health is dependent on my lifestyle choices, staying active, and reducing my exposure to things that have been shown to influence the development of cancer.
When I was first diagnosed, everyone around me was in shock. As I told my friends and family of my diagnosis, so many of them asked: "How could this happen to you? You're the healthiest person I know?" I wanted to understand too. I started to educate myself, so I could strengthen my chances for long-term disease-free survival. I found The Breast Cancer Fund's website to be a trusted source of information. I visited their booth at the 2011 Conference For Young Women (C4YW) where I met my friend Stacy, among other inspiring young survivors. I knew the mission of the Breast Cancer Fund was to get to the root causes.
Having the gift and benefit of retrospect, it is clear there were many hazards and other modifiable risks that I was exposed to that I have no doubt contributed to my getting this disease. I am asking for your help and support, to help us spread the word to many more people in the coming year, so everyone has the best science and information available to help inform herself, and prevent a disease for which there is no absolute cure for today.
You can learn more about my story and follow my progress here, as well as my beginner's mountaineering journey on my Tumblr blog: We Climb For Prevention.
Everyone has been touched in some way by this devastating disease. Together, we will make prevention possible. Will you join me in this journey of a lifetime, my first mountain climb, by making a donation to support my climb?
Thank you so much for your support!