When the Fred Hutch leadership invited me to serve as a faculty representative in the climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, I was hesitant. I have never climbed a mountain in my life--certainly not to over 19,000 feet in the middle of Africa. This trip would take me away from my family with two young children for nearly two weeks. I told myself: "I can't do that." I was ready to say no.
And then I realized that I was being asked to meet a rare moment in life.
A moment to...
-Honor my father who is being treated at Fred Hutch for Stage III melanoma.
-Honor my mother who died of bile duct cancer, my mother-in-law who died of ovarian cancer, my father-in-law who died of colon cancer.
-Invest in new ideas for cancer research. I have turned one million dollars in pilot research funding investment into over 25 million dollars in NIH-funded large scale clinical research trials.
-Give back to the great institution that I have called my professional home for nearly a quarter century. My HABIT lab gets to do exciting research on artificial intelligence chatbots and smartphone apps for quitting smoking as well as telehealth for weight loss.
-Support the next chapter in Fred Hutch research in immunotherapy, which is using your own immune system to defeat cancer cells.
-Inspire my children to take on physical and mental challenges, for the sake of something much larger than themselves.
-Discover that I CAN climb that mountain...no matter what my mind tells me.
I humbly now ask you to join me in this moment by hitting the Donate Now button. You will be joining over 60 people who have already supported my climb, which will be Feb 10 to 19, 2023.