500 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer today. One woman in 9 will fight a personal battle.
Who is this woman with the odds stacked against her? Somebody�s mother. Somebody�s wife. Somebody�s daughter, aunt, or friend. Odds are, she�ll be somebody you know. For me that loved one is my sister, who at an age younger than I am today, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thankfully, breast cancer need not be devastating. Early detection, improved treatment, and preventive care can mean the difference between life and a tragic death. The survival rate for patients treated for early-stage breast cancer is now 97%.
I will be climbing with the spirit and inspiration of the following women:
Thanks to the awareness of my sister�s doctor, who followed the prevailing guidelines for detection of changes in breast tissue, my sister began annual mammogram screenings at age 35. Waiting until 40 might well have been too late. But by having her cancer diagnosed at a very early stage and having access to the best treatment and leading specialists, my sister is today a breast cancer survivor, living a healthy, productive life with her children and husband.
Some people go to great lengths to fight breast cancer and increase awareness. I am going to great heights.
I spent the summer of my sister�s cancer treatment living with her and her family, helping care for her children. It was unquestionably the most blessed experience of my life � and empowering because I was able to make a tangible difference in her recovery. Here is your chance to make a difference for millions of other women diagnosed with breast cancer.
This summer I will team up with a group of climbers formed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to participate in a unique event called the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer. I will attempt to summit Glacier Peak, a volcanic mountain in Washington�s Cascade range, and in so doing will raise crucial funds and awareness for breast cancer research. All proceeds will benefit the Hutchinson Center.
What will it take to ensure the health care needed to give women a fighting chance against breast cancer?
It all boils down to one thing: Money. Money for programs. Money for research. Money for survival. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is at the forefront of breast cancer research. It relies on the private sector to bring in dollars for scientists to develop cutting-edge �pilot� studies. Traditional funding, such as grants from the National Institutes of Health, typically does not support these initial research projects. Funds raised through special events such as the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer provide seed money for Hutchinson Center scientists and researchers to launch new studies. This seed money enables scientists to develop preliminary findings, a necessary first step before they are eligible to compete for large-scale research awards. Proceeds from the 2002 Climb to Fight Breast Cancer will directly benefit these types of pilot breast cancer studies at the Hutch.
How can you help me in my fight to raise awareness and improve treatments for breast cancer?
I need your moral support. Drop me a line. Send me your stories, letters, poems, or photos of breast cancer patients that I can carry in honor or memory of their courage and beauty to help inspire me on my climb. Visit my website at http://climb.pledgepage.com and sign my guest book, check in on me as I train, and cheer me on!
I also need your financial support. Each member of my summit team has committed to raising a minimum of $3,000 each for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Each dollar I bring in will bring us closer to our monetary goal. More importantly it will bring us closer to our ultimate goal: saving precious lives.
Please give as generously as you can. With your help, and the ongoing work of Hutchinson Center scientists, we will be one step closer to eliminating breast cancer as a cause of human suffering and death.
Thank you for your generosity, compassion and support.
Tracey Leavitt Kronberg
With Thanks to Team EA
In memory of
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