Personal Fundraiser

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Joanne Smith-Farrell

Team Member: Team Kilimanjaro




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Welcome to My Fundraising Page - I am climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money to help the Hutch crush cancer!

I have committed to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with Fred Hutch’s Climb to Fight Cancer. Please join me as I raise funds for lifesaving research.

Why am I doing this?  In short, I'm inspired by the mountain.

The mountain is a powerful metaphor in the stories of families fighting cancer. So many stories … too many stories. Stories that power fierce personal commitments of all sorts. 

Stories that include my own. As many know, my late husband, Matthew, fought glioblastoma for almost four years. We built many of our family’s most cherished stories in those years, in which he parented, loved, and made precious memories with our three daughters and me.  When he was diagnosed, our twins were a year old and our eldest had just finished kindergarten. I am grateful that we had many years beyond the standard prognosis. But four years was not nearly long enough – we must do better. 

The mountain is also a powerful metaphor in our industry. We exist to create transformative medicines. The trek is inspiring, exciting, daunting, arduous, and non-linear… AND when we succeed it is both meaningful and humbling (among my most cherished possessions are thank you letters from people sharing their stories of how the first-ever CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma changed their lives).  

I did not sign up to climb the tallest peak in Africa because I am an athlete any more (I'm not, this will be hard).  I signed up because this team is raising serious funds (>$1.35M) for cancer research at an institution that has delivered over, and over, and over.  I am glad to put my shoulder to the wheel (feet to the path?) to drive part of that.

Your support is invaluable.  Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and highly appreciated, and can be easily given through the link on this page. If your company or firm would like to make a corporate-level donations ($5K, $10K, $20K, etc), you can do it through the link or send me a note and I will facilitate.  I will raise, at minimum, $50K.

In a poignant development, weeks after I committed to climb, my Dad’s 20-year journey with cancer unexpectedly ended. He was a delightfully stubborn Irishman, and he ignored the initial advice to "get his affairs in order".  He beat the odds for two decades -- supported by medicines that emerged from science “just in time.”  

Rest in peace, Matthew and Dad. We’ll take it from here. See you at the summit (but don’t tell Mom until I’m back down).