“When you’re out there on a ledge and there’s a storm rolling in, you can’t just cut the line. You have to keep on going and fighting.” -Sean Patrick, founder of HERA
Yesterday was the 7th annual HERA Climb4Life Colorado and it was a huge success! This was the first year that all the climbing spots were filled, and HERA raised over $40,000 for ovarian cancer research.
What is HERA all about? HERA is a Women’s Cancer Foundation and is an acronym for Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness. HERA focuses on supporting more radical research grants for ovarian cancer treatment and diagnostics rather than funding the current treatment of chemotherapy, spreads awareness of disease symptoms, and acts as a support group for cancer victims and their families.
What does climbing have to do with ovarian cancer? Sean Patrick was the founder of HERA and she was an avid rock climber and passionate for the outdoors. She battled ovarian cancer for twelve years, and unfortunately passed away in 2009 from this devastating disease. Her legacy lives on through HERA.
The event was not only a huge success, it was a wonderful day meeting new people, eating yummy food, enjoying the outdoors, and being connected with others. I lost my mother to cancer as a teenager, and the pain of losing someone you love is unlike any other. It was good to talk with others that have been through similar experiences and to know you are not alone. The sense of community that HERA offers for cancer victims is beautiful.
You can join climbing clinics during the day, or just join for dinner, drinks, raffle, silent auction, and inspiring survivor stories later in the evening.
As climbers, we can sometimes feel selfish in our activities- as if we are not contributing to society in a positive way. If you are a climber (or interested in learning how to climb, a hiker/outdoor enthusiast) and want to contribute to a worthy cause, please join us next year in Boulder, or in one of the other three participation cities. You can participate in the events, volunteer, or donate. Feel free to contact me for personal details or visit the HERA website for more information.
A big thank you to Emily Clarendon for organizing this wonderful event!
Maggie Luck- ovarian cancer survivor with her HERA-biner from Petzl.
A touching story of Maggie Luck, ovarian cancer survivor: