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Ramani Varanasi

Team Member: Team Kilimanjaro




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Putting My Best Foot Forward. One Step At A Time.

I recently accepted the challenge to participate in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s Climb to Fight Cancer Initiative. Please join me as I raise funds for lifesaving research at the Fred Hutch.

Along with 27 other adventure enthusiasts, I will (literally) be ‘putting my best foot forward’ on a journey to summit the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft.) in February 2023. I am honored to be part of this team, which includes expert climbers and a terrific group of biotech professionals. 

We are fighting cancer by committing to collectively raise $1.35 million. And I have personally committed to raise a minimum of $50,000. To support current and future cancer patients everywhere. To be in solidarity with and pay homage to the memories of members of my family and close friends whose lives have been lost to this devastating disease, a couple as recently as this past summer.

The statistics for Cancer are devastating - 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men are dealt a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. And chances are that you know someone whose life has been affected by the phrase one never wants to hear - “You have cancer”. I know I do.

This adventure is a very personal one for me, as I just recently and very narrowly escaped a cancer diagnosis. I am one of the lucky ones - but like many others, I have family members, close friends, and colleagues who have been bravely navigating their cancer journeys for many years, one step at a time. I won’t lie that this dual challenge (of hiking and fundraising) feels a bit intimidating. But, my training over the next several months, and the ultimate ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro are about flexing my resilience muscles and doing my part in supporting them on their journey. One. Step. At. A. Time. 

Organizations like the Fred Hutch, with their global reach, are working relentlessly to eliminate cancer as a cause of human suffering and death by discovering new ways to detect, prevent, and treat the disease. Their efforts have yielded critical medical advances - from developing bone marrow transplantation as a cure for leukemia, to pioneering powerful immunotherapies that harness the immune system to fight cancer. All this, with the goal of overcoming disparities and making progress against health inequities in treatment and outcomes for ALL cancer patients. I am very grateful that these advancements in cancer research have benefitted my family and friends, with some achieving positive outcomes with partial to full remission. 

I invite you to be part of our journey, our Climb to Fight Cancer, by donating today. I am personally contributing $5,000 and hope to raise an additional $45,000. Any amount you can give will make a difference to people and families facing this deadly disease.

By sponsoring this climb, your organization will be playing a critical role in supporting the advancement of cancer research that can result in better therapeutic options and improved outcomes, such as increased survival and a better quality of life for current and future cancer patients everywhere. All proceeds raised will fund extraordinary research, lifesaving discoveries, and cures. Your gift is 100% tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for your support! Every dollar counts and allows us to get one step closer in our quest for cures. We can all play an active role in the fight against cancer - by putting our best foot forward, one step at a time.

In Gratitude,



 Did you know?

  • Fred Hutch has been at the leading edge of cancer research for 45 years - starting with bone marrow transplantation, which can cure some cancers and has helped more than 1 million people. It was pioneered by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas at Fred Hutch. Today, Hutch researchers continue that legacy through groundbreaking work to expand immunotherapy.
  • Fred Hutch is a leader in infectious disease research, including breakthrough findings on the herpesvirus and on the pathogens and viruses that cause an estimated 1 in 5 cancers. It is also the home of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.
  • Fred Hutch’s work is centered on the people we serve. This includes research to understand cancer’s toll on individuals and communities; improve health equity, especially among black people and people of color; improve prevention; and treat the entire person, not just the disease.
  • Fred Hutch researchers and staff are guided by integrity, scientific excellence, and collaboration - a dedication that has earned them the Gold Seal of Transparency on GuideStar, a service that evaluates more than 2 million U.S. nonprofits.