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Twenty-four Breast Cancer Survivors and Supporters Climb Mountain for Breast Cancer Prevention

Climb Against the Odds 2010 marks the 11th mountain expedition for the Breast Cancer Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 17, 2010 
Contact: Carly Chomer, 415-346-8223 x25, carly@breastcancerfund.org

MT. SHASTA, Calif. – On Tuesday, June 15, 24 breast cancer survivors and supporters climbed Mt. Shasta in Northern California to honor the courage it takes to face breast cancer and to support the Breast Cancer Fund’s work to prevent the disease.

Mostly first-time climbers, the Climb Against the Odds team members hail from ten states–California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington–as well as the District of Columbia, and range in age from 14 to 67. The team trained for six months to climb in honor of loved ones touched by the disease, and for many of them, to honor their own experiences with the disease.

The team began their ascent of Mt. Shasta on Tuesday afternoon, leaving from the trailhead for Hidden Valley base camp at 9,400 feet. On Wednesday morning, with harsh conditions and 40 mile-an-hour winds, mountain guides determined that it would be unwise for the team to make a summit attempt. Late-season snowfall in the weeks prior to the climb meant that the team had to use their mountaineering skills and equipment earlier in the climb, as the snow and ice made their ascent to and descent from base camp more technical than an average June climb. When they descended to the trailhead on Thursday afternoon they were celebrated by family, friends and supporters, including two women who had trained and fundraised with the team but who were unable to attempt the climb.

The team members fundraised an average of $10,000 each, collectively raising $250,000, for the Breast Cancer Fund’s work to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of the disease.

“For me, it’s both an honor and therapeutic to climb in memory of three close friends who have died of breast cancer,” said Linda Morton, a six-time Climb Against the Odds participant. “It’s important for me to do whatever is possible to prevent other women from having to go through what they went through.”

“Climb Against the Odds participants have gone to great heights—literally and figuratively—to honor their own and their loved ones’ experiences with breast cancer, and to promote prevention,” said Connie George, climb manager for the Breast Cancer Fund. “We are truly honored to have such extraordinary and passionate women and men committed to taking one step at a time to stop this disease before it starts.”

In the United States, a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is an alarming 1 in 8, and no more than 1 in 10 women with breast cancer has a genetic history of the disease. Scientific evidence points to toxic chemicals and radiation as factors in the high rates of the disease. Founded in 1992, the Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization focused on prevention through connecting the dots between breast cancer and the environmental risks associated with the disease.

Climb Against the Odds 2010 was the Breast Cancer Fund’s 11th mountain expedition, and the seventh on Mt. Shasta. This climb follows in the tradition of past expeditions: Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina (1995); Mt. McKinley, Alaska (1998); Mt Fuji, Japan (2000), Mt. Rainier, Wash. (2005), and Mt. Shasta, Calif. (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

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The Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization working to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer. www.breastcancerfund.org.