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CLIMB GALLERY

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Meet the 2015 Climb Against the Odds Team

This inspiring team of women and men have taken on the challenge of climbing Northern California's 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta for breast cancer prevention. Each climber honors the courage it takes to face breast cancer and their loved ones touched by the disease. Together, they prove that anything is possible if taken one step at a time. Learn more about Climb Against the Odds and read about the team's journey on our blog.


Robert Abramowitz—Frederick, MD

Rob climbs in honor of his mother who is a four-year breast cancer survivor and who continues to be a source of inspiration and strength for his family.  As a veteran of last year’s Climb Against the Odds, Rob feels that he has learned a great deal about harmful chemicals in our environment. He has learned how to have a strong voice among his friends and family regarding simple changes they can make to lower their exposure. He's truly a prevention pioneer, and one who believes that prevention of countless diseases linked to the environmental exposures will help protect not only women, but also all of our future generations and our planet. Donate to Robert's climb


Courtney Baker—Brandon, VT

Courtney is a student who climbs for her stepmother who she lost to breast cancer in 2010. Her second mom, as Courtney calls her, was a wonderful role model and inspired her with her strength and positive attitude during chemotherapy treatments.  Courtney loves a challenge so when she read about the Climb Against the Odds she knew this was the perfect chance for her to pay it forward for the love she got from her stepmom. It was a chance to educate and support others and to get the word out about prevention.  Courtney also has experience with fundraising for an elementary school she visited while traveling in Gambia. Donate to Courtney's climb


Donna Cecilio—Reno, NV

As an RN in cardiology and holistic medicine Donna knows the impact of environmental and nutritional choices on health. She has many friends who have had breast cancer and wants to ensure that her 5–year-old granddaughter has a safer future. She wants to bring more awareness regarding the challenges of breast cancer and to let people know that it is never too late to make better lifestyle and food choices. She is an avid outdoorswoman, frequently hiking, biking, kayaking and snowshoeing in the Reno/Tahoe area where she lives. Donate to Donna's climb


Lance Deskins—Black Diamond, WA

Lance climbs in honor of his mother who is a 13-year breast cancer survivor and his two aunts who have faced the challenge of cancer over the past two years. He also climbs for his father, father-in-law and a friend who have all survived cancer and for his mother-in-law and cousin who did not. Lance believes that something needs to change; that more needs to be done to prevent cancer.  He heard about the Climb through his friend La Dawn who he supported when she climbed Shasta, and this year decided to take on the challenge himself. Lance has summited Mt. Rainier two times. Donate to Lance's climb


Paul Engstrom—Mt. Shasta, CA

A veteran of two other Shasta climbs, Paul has always felt that there is more he could do to help the people he knows who have cancer. He is dedicating this climb to honor a dear friend of his who contracted leukemia last summer and to a former classmate who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer with tremendous courage. Paul hopes to gather strength for his climb from these brave people, and the countless others who are waging their own battles. Paul climbs with Brett Waite as part of Team Shasta. Half the funds raised by the team go to local Siskiyou breast cancer organizations. Donate to Paul's climb


Christine Figueroa—Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Christine climbs in honor of her family members who have suffered through cancer. She was most impacted when her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. She feels the greatest tribute she can offer her mom’s memory is to share her stories, in the hopes it will help others. As an independent consultant for Beautycounter Christine helps to educate people about toxins in personal care products. Christine loves to camp and hike and feels her best when she is outdoors so looks forward to training for and climbing Mt. Shasta in June. Donate to Christine's climb


Serene Forte—Lexington, MA

Serene’s motivation to climb Mt. Shasta stems from a first-hand experience helping her partner through breast cancer, as well as a continued interest in doing things that scare her. She believes in the importance of helping others so that they never have to go through what she and her partner endured. She feels that we must expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer so we can stop it before it starts. Serene also has a desire to push herself to do things that cause her to stretch out of her comfort zone. She was a member of the Boston Luna Chix Mountain Bike Team, and now chooses to learn something new by signing up for the Climb. Donate to Serene's climb


Leah Hill—PLeasant Hill, CA



Leah works in marketing for Clif Bar and Company, a major supporter of the Breast Cancer Fund. She is motivated to be a part of the ground work that helps protect her son, nieces and nephews and allows them to grow up in a world where cancer isn’t a worry. She has been a rock and ice climber and has backpacked the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver Island and the Italian Dolomites. She spent years as a travel guide, helping others step outside their comfort zones with physical endeavors. She is excited to be raising funds for a cause she wholeheartedly believes in. Donate to Leah's climb


Susan Jorgensen—Ocean Ridge, FL

Susanne was diagnosed with breast cancer just six weeks after entering a fitness competition. She felt healthier than she ever had. She had no family history of cancer, ate clean, organic foods, exercised regularly and didn’t smoke or drink. In her search to discover why she ended up with cancer, she discovered a world of toxic chemicals linked to the disease. Now she wants to educate and inspire others to say no to toxic products. She is aligned with the Breast Cancer Fund’s mission of prevention and is motivated to spread that message. Susanne cycles and hikes regularly and looks forward to working with her trainer towards her goal of climbing Shasta. Donate to Susan's climb


Michelle Kalberer—Chico, CA

Michelle has been aligned with the Breast Cancer Fund for the past 10 years as one of the owners of Klean Kanteen, a major supporter of the Breast Cancer Fund. She climbs to honor her stepmother and her mother who are both breast cancer survivors. Her life has been greatly impacted by the physical and emotional changes that have occurred in her mother due to her treatments. Michelle hopes to expand the circle of knowledge about breast cancer prevention. With her background in running half marathons she knows she can handle the challenges of the mountain. Donate to Michelle's climb


Kelsey Kerr—Hyattsville, MD

A veteran of the 2013 Climb, Kelsey was first inspired by her mom who participated in the 2005 Climb Against the Odds on Mt. Rainier. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when Kelsey was just 11 years old and she still remembers the impact it had on her family and the courage and spirit her mom showed in the face of the disease. Her mom is gone now but continues to be a source of inspiration for Kelsey who has been a hiker since she was young.  She has hiked in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Korea where she used to live. Donate to Kelsey's climb


Michelle Mathai—St Helena, CA

Michelle climbs in honor of her brother Tom, a 16-year survivor of brain cancer, and her grandmother who she lost many years ago to breast cancer. She is a successful fundraiser who has volunteered extensive time to improve education and empowerment for girls in India and to help end childhood hunger in the U.S. She has been an avid triathlete and hiker, covering ground in New Zealand and Patagonia. Donate to Michelle's climb


Daniel Monterrubio—San Antonio, TX

Daniel has chosen to climb Mt. Shasta in honor of his mother who was diagnosed with an advanced stage of breast cancer. He was separated from her for the better part of a year because her treatment took place in a location far from where he lived and attended school. His mom made it through, though she still deals with constant pain. Daniel is a motivated young man who is always looking for ways to live life to the fullest. He is a rock climber who has tackled projects in Mexico and Spain.  He will continue with school and his job while training for the climb. Donate to Daniel's climb


Natalie Partida—Livermore, CA

When Natalie volunteered at the last Peak Hike she was moved by the stories she heard from survivors, families who had come together in support of loved ones with cancer and stories of volunteers giving their time to organize events that support the Breast Cancer Fund.  She was motivated to become part of a community that strives to empower one another and support those affected by breast cancer.  A frequent hiker, Natalie looks forward to the challenge of the mountain. Donate to Natalie's climb


Casey Pond—Goleta Pond

Casey plans to climb with her sister Whitney to honor their mother who died of breast cancer 10 years ago. Since her mother’s passing she has been involved in the Peak Hike and now takes on the greater fundraising and climbing challenge of Mt. Shasta. After losing her mother and grandmother to breast cancer she feels it is important to focus on eliminating chemicals in the environment that lead to cancer. Casey stays fit playing water polo at UCSB and enjoys hiking and running. Donate to Casey's climb


Whitney Pond—Boulder, CO