publication date: Mar. 6, 2015

From the Kilimanjaro Summit



After months of training, hundreds of hours spent in a high-altitude sleep tent, and almost a week spent ascending the mountain, our climbing group was destined to have only 12 minutes at Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit. However, that was enough to pay tribute to the 200,000 heroes who have participated in more than a half-century of SWOG cancer clinical trials.

We brought those volunteers to the “roof of Africa” last month to recognize their contributions to finding effective cancer treatments. We put their 200,000 sets of initials onto a banner that we unfurled at Uhuru Peak (19,382 feet), in the middle of a major lightning storm. Along the way, we garnered some good press for the value of publicly funded cancer clinical trials, and of what we stand to lose because of declining federal support of those trials, while at the same time raising more than $110,000 to help offset that decline, a portion of which was shared with our sister network groups the Alliance and the Children’s Oncology Group, and with ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Our climbing group of nine flew to Tanzania and spent our first days in Africa in the town of Moshi, the standard embarkation point for climbs.  In trekking around Moshi, you are struck immediately by the vibrantly colored clothing, the dust, and the friendly noise. You soon learn not to rely on traffic skills from your native land, as you will NEVER get right of way from a moving vehicle. And what a variety of vehicles there were. In fact, the order of transport frequency was: human, human powered, scooter, motorcycle, multi-passenger van or … Continue reading 41-09 From the Kilimanjaro Summit

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