Mt Kilimanjaro – say what?

18 Jul

Mt Kili

This might be the only serious post I ever write.  I work for Ovarian Cancer Canada and we are the only charity in Canada that raises money to fund research on ovarian cancer, offer support programs to those affected by ovarian cancer and spread awareness in both the public and healthcare environments.   Ovarian cancer is a particularly devastating cancer – there is no screening test so women get diagnosed late and therefore upwards of 80% of the women do not survive at 5 years.  It is the most fatal female cancer.  The symptoms are vague and often mimic other less serious conditions which affect women: bloating, abdominal pain, frequent or urgent urination, back pain, fatigue, a change in bowel habits, menstrual irregularities. The problem is not a lot of women know the symptoms and/or they attribute them to something else: menopause, age, life, food, etc. and often don’t even go the doctor until the symptoms become loud. A big piece of my day to day work is educating well women on the symptoms and risk factors – you can read more by going to our website

Enter Macon who lost his wife from ovarian cancer . He approached us in regards to doing an event which would help raise both funds and awareness of ovarian cancer. Macon happens to be a seasoned mountain climber who holds the record for the most amount of summits of Mt Kilimanjaro in one month!  He in fact spread the ashes of his wife on top of the mountain.  His idea was to have an “Expedition of Hope” where people connected to this disease climb the mountain together.  In order to partake in the trip each person needs to raise at least $2500.  Seeing as I am usually up for just about anything, I signed up.  So the end of September I am lacing up my boots and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro!  Every time I say it I kind of can’t believe it.  I have been doing my training – paced walking, strength exercises, and hill climbing. Over the next two months I will add weight by carrying a backpack with a 3 kg jug of water in it.  

As a well woman you have a connection to this disease – most cases happen for no known reason so any woman is at risk.  If you have a connection to the disease via a loved one, you know how terrible it is.  If you can spare a few dollars I would be forever grateful – I am hoping to raise $5000.  FYI – as a staff member I need to raise the same amount of money as the other participants and pay for my own flight/travel expenses – so the $5000 goes directly to the cause.  You can donate to the Expedition of Hope by going to: –  hit the “donate” button and go to “individual search” on the left – enter my name.

Appreciation in advance!


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