In August 2021, I'll be participating the "Kilimanjaro Climb," an event organized by the American Cancer Society that raises money to eliminate cancer and improve the lives of those impacted by this terrible disease.
I've set a fundraising goal of $12,500 in support of the ACS and will be climbing in memory of my dad, Gary, who lost his battle in June 2019.
In April 2019, my family was blindsided by my dad's surprise cancer diagnosis. Before the end of June — less than three months later — he was gone.
My dad was one of the strongest people I know; he was a fighter. But unfortunately for him — and so many others — cancer was a battle that could not be won, no matter how hard you fight.
My dad was influential to me in so many ways, but in particular, he passed down a love of travel and learning — experiencing new and unfamiliar cultures, places, and people. I'm extremely fortunate to have visited six of the seven continents with him.
My dad and I got to wander through the ruins of Machu Picchu and relax in the thermal baths of Budapest in winter. We sampled curries throughout India, threw boomerangs in Australia, and shared a boat cabin on our way to wander among the penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Africa would have been our seventh continent to explore together, so it's fitting that the Kilimanjaro Climb will bring me to Tanzania to help raise money to help conquer cancer.
Standing at 19,341 feet above sea level at the Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world. Located in northwestern Tanzania, "Kili" is a stratovolcano with three separate cones: Kibo, which is dormant and houses the Uhuru Peak, as well as Mawenzi and Shira, which are both extinct.
We'll be ascending appx 16,000 feet over 8 days via the Lemosho Route, a 45-mile trek through jungle, rain forest, alpine desert, and over arctic snow and ice at the summit.
In 2019, the 8-member Kilimanjaro Climb team collectively raised more than $92,000 in support of the American Cancer Society.
In August 2021, I'll be climbing with a team of 7 others from around the U.S.