Halfway There!

58% of the way there!!!

I just wanted to post a quick update, I’m now over halfway to my fundraising goal with $3,490!  Tremendous thanks to my generous friends and family for their support! Special shout out to my cousins in the Chiu and Nitollama family for their generous support and for dedicating a flag on my string!  If you haven’t donated yet and you want to, you can find the link on the left of this page, or here.

Keep an eye out this week for the opening of my Etsy charity store to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund.  Also, if you live in Boston, keep an eye out thursday as I trek through the city wearing my big red osprey pack filled to 40lbs on my training “urban hike” for the month!


The Catharsis of Spring

“The most beautiful people we have ever known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have pulled themselves out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Boston is waking up from the slumber of winter, and with the new leaves and flowers I feel like I am finally waking up from a long slumber too.


Today I went on a 3.8 mile run.  As I was running I noticed that the flowers are really starting to come out now here; that brought a smile to my face.  And then just as I was starting to feel happy and get into my run, around mile 2.5 a hearse passed by in a 4 car funeral procession.  I was immediately saddened… all this beauty around me and yet that family must be in so much pain.  I thought of my mom, I thought of death, I thought of how terrible it is that life is stolen from us all in the end.  Through my headphones a song called “missing pieces” started playing, the lyrics saying: “I would feel much better if I thought there was any other reason to keep away the beauty from the dirt … And I miss you, oh, And I miss you, oh”

Just as I was literally about to start crying I had a realization.  The world was trying to tell me something: there is beauty in this world, and there is dirt, but you can’t separate the two.  There is duality in everything… beauty and dirt, death and life… as the hearse passed by signaling the end of one life, the trees were blooming signaling the beginning of another.  Each of us may have a finite time here, but life goes on and we can’t forget to live while we’re alive.

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

On a side note about training, my endurance is definitely improving.  I finished with an average 10 minute mile pace and didn’t feel too winded or exhausted.  I honestly could have kept going if not for my bum ankle that has been giving me trouble the past couple of weeks.  I need to figure out some good ankle strengthening exercises!


Boston Strong

Boston Strong

I walked for Boston today, literally.

Today I went for a walk.  But not just any walk, I went for a walk for Boston, literally.  Above is my GPS track (in red) for my walk (the planned track is in blue).  But there’s a story behind this walk, one about me, my mom, and Boston, my new home – Boston.


A look out onto Boylston St. near bomb site #2, a path I usually walk every weekend and where I’ve watched the marathon since 2008.

When I moved to the east coast in 2008 I watched my first Boston Marathon.  It was impressive to say the least.  I was inspired by the athleticism and dedication and decided that I would run this race someday.  I talked often about this goal with my mom and she looked forward to cheering me across the finish line.  I didn’t train like I had promised in the following years, and then a year and a half ago my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  When I watched the 116th Boston Marathon in 2012 right in front of the Prudential center, where I’ve watched it every other year, I promised myself that the 117th marathon would be the year.  I knew my chances of qualifying were low, so I told myself that I would run in honor of my mom with Dana-Farber so that she could watch me accomplish this goal.  I signed up on their runner notification list that day.

Fast forward to October 2012.  Little did I know in April 2012, my mom didn’t have a whole year in her.  My mom passed away in July and in October I was grappling with a way to honor her life.  I was planning on signing up for the marathon, since we had talked about it so much.  At the same time I had read about this mountain climb with the Breast Cancer Fund.  I had considered doing both, but after considering I would have to commit to raising ~$6,000 for each event, I decided I could only do one.  After thinking about what each event would mean to me, I chose the mountain climb that this blog is about.

But the Boston Marathon still means a lot to me.  My mom used to tell me stories about Patriot’s day when she was a teenager in Acton, MA.  She said that in the ’70’s Patriot’s day wasn’t all about the marathon, that it was a big parade that went from Lexington to Boston to recreate a Revolutionary march, gathering people along the way; it was one of her favorite memories.  And so that’s what I think about when I think of the Patriot’s day and the marathon – my mom when she was 15 years old, walking with her friends and family from Acton to Boston along the current marathon route. For this reason it remains a goal of mine to complete the Boston Marathon.

But back to my story about today.  So I decided not to run the marathon this year, but I still went to watch it, like I always do.  I usually sit in front of the Pru, cheering on people as they near the finish line.  I had some things to get done in the morning, so I didn’t make it to the marathon until around 1.  I made my way to the finish line but decided it was too crowded, so instead of standing in my normal marathon-watching place near the Starbucks near the finish line, we made our way around to where the runners turn onto the home stretch on Boylston. We had almost made it to the turn towards Boylston St. when I heard the first boom…  it was louder than anything I had ever heard before, but I didn’t know what to think of it.  I looked around, no one else seemed upset so I uneasily let it go, thinking it was some celebratory fireworks or cannon or something.  15 seconds later a second boom.  I decided that it just didn’t seem right so I started walking away.  At this point I looked around and saw a police officer nearby look really concerned towards Boylston St, and then I looked up the street and saw people running across Commonwealth Ave.  We started running away from the marathon route, and seconds later the sirens started… they didn’t stop until last night.

I’m sure you all know by now the events that occurred since that afternoon. This morning when I woke up I decided that I wanted to mark the end of this horrible week in a meaningful way.  So I decided to spell out the word Boston on the streets surrounding the marathon tragedy.  Since Boylston St. is still closed because of the ongoing investigation, I made my path just above the bombing sites.  If you are familiar with Boston you will recognize where this is, if not, I have marked out the bombing sites and marathon route in the image below.  I wanted to do something to show my solidarity with my new home, I hope that other’s find this inspiring and if anyone else wants to walk or run the same 4.5 mile route, I will make the route publicly accessible on Runkeeper.com at this link: http://runkeeper.com/user/kmwinchell/route/2021778

As for Boston and the marathon, I’m glad that some sense of normalcy has returned to the city and have a renewed commitment to run the marathon next year. My mountain climb training today was more than a 5 mile urban hike in Boston.  I hope that all those affected by the events of this week continue to heal.

My walk today juxtaposed with the marathon route (in blue/yellow).  Stars mark the bomb sites and the people icon marks where I was at that time.

My walk today juxtaposed with the marathon route (in blue). Stars mark the bomb sites and the people icon marks where I was at that time.

Here’s some highlights from my Boston Strong walk (click for larger image):



Last friday we had a conference call with our guides at Shasta Mountain Guides, Chris and Jenn Carr, who have been leading the Breast Cancer Fund’s Climb Against the Odds for 10 years. They emphasized that getting to the top isn’t the most important part – that safety is first priority then enjoyment, whether or not we reach the summit.  Even though they warned not to get caught up in “summit fever” (i.e. being bent on getting to the top), I have to say I’ll be pretty bummed if injury or weather prevents me from making it to the top.  But I won’t let fatigue be the reason, I’m training hard and plan on to just keep putting one foot in front of the other all the way up!

We got a lot of good information about what to expect for the climb.  Here’s the rundown:

Climb Itinerary: First we went over our climb itinerary –

  • Monday 6/17: Gear check, get to know each other and the guides, break up into climb teams of 6-7.  Our guides will inspect our gear and make sure we have enough but not too much packed for the trip.
  • Tuesday 6/18: Meet the guides at Bunny Flat Trailhead (6090 feet) at 9 am to begin climb to base camp (Hidden Valley) at 9200 feet. Dinner and bed by 7pm to get plenty of rest for the summit attempt!
  • Wednesday, 6/19: Summit day!  Wakeup call is at 1am with climb teams of 3 leaving every 20 minutes, roped together on snow and ice. This is where my mountaineering training will be most important since my safety and the safety of the two people I will be roped to depend on my caution and ability to fix any mistakes (i.e. stop myself with my iceaxe!).  The ascent to the summit will take 6-9 hours and the descent 4-5.  We will gain nearly 5,000 feet in elevation on summit day!  We will camp again at basecamp.
  • Thursday 6/20: Back to civilization! Breakfast halfway home on the trail followed by a prayer flag ceremony and a fun evening with our family and new friends.

Altitude Sickness: Next we went over altitude sickness and how to deal with it.  The guides said that everyone will experience some form of altitude sickness and went over the signs of mild altitude sickness, known as AMS: decreased appetite, headache, and irritability.  They said they will teach us some techniques for dealing with mild altitude sickness when we get to the mountain like pressure breathing and rest-stepping, but that the best way to keep it mild is to eat a bunch and drink a bunch of water while climbing.  They also suggested we focus on our intensity training at this point to make sure we can handle the intense activity, which brought us to…

Calorie loss: Our guides said we would expend about 10,000 calories on climb day and that we would need to replace all of those calories while we climb to prevent extreme fatigue.  They suggested we have 4-5 lbs of snacks in accessible pockets and that we should constantly be snacking on things all day long, whether or not we are hungry.  So far I’m thinking of bringing some Probar meal bars, Luna bars, stinger honey gummies, and some sesame sticks. They also recommended we experiment with different electrolyte powders to add to our water during the climb.

Equipment: Next we went over equipment.  There is some equipment we can rent on the mountain, including boots.  I haven’t quite decided if I’m

My potential new mountaineering boots from Scarpa

going to purchase a pair before climbing or rent a pair.  On the one hand I’d like to keep mountain climbing and getting a decent pair now may be worth it. On the other hand, mountaineering boots are awfully expensive!  At the recommendation of the guides I am considering this boot from our sponsor Scarpa, but we’ll see. I really disliked the double plastic boots I wore at mountaineering training and would like to get something like these with solid but flexible ankle support.  My ankle still hurts over a week later from the plastic boots! They also suggested some equipment to bring that may not be so obvious – a pair of lightweight flipflops or sneakers for camp and a face buff for lightweight protection from the sun on warm days.

Training: Next we went over some key training suggestions.  They emphasized again how important it is to train for this event but also said that we don’t have to climb mountains to train… good news for me since there’s no mountains in Boston!  They said that the key is building up endurance carrying weight – high intensity short interval training that gets your heart rate up and lots of hills or stairs. They also echoed my mountaineering training guide in their suggestions that we stretch stretch stretch (guess I need to start doing more yoga)!

Urban hike

spring is trying really hard here in Boston

I just got back from a 5 mile urban hike through the Fens in Boston.  Spring is trying really hard here to get some flowers out!  I saw a ton of birds too, robins, cardinals, bluejays, and lots of brown and black birds I don’t know.

Here’s the highlights of my hike:

  • pack weight: 20 lbs
  • distance: 5 miles
  • duration: 1 hour 31 minutes
  • elevation climb: 515 feet



daffodils near the fens



so many birds in the Fens today!

Gives me the willeys!

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

This past saturday I completed my basic mountaineering training up at Mount Willey in the White Mountains.  Driving up to New Hampshire I was surprised when I saw Mt. Washington in the distance — the east coast really does have some mountains (although 6,000 feet is hardly  a mountain by California standards!).

Since I’m a transplant to the east coast I heard some strange and interesting stories about the region for the first time.  For example, Mount Washington had the highest wind gust speed record on earth from 1934 to 2010 at 231 mph!  The wind was the first thing I noticed in the White Mountains.  As soon as I stepped out of the car I was nearly blown over; I couldn’t get my jacket on fast enough (and thought it was going to blow out of my hands in the process).  Also, we climbed up Mount Willey, which according to my guide is the source of the saying “it gives me the willeys.”  Apparently the Willey family lived near the mountain for just a year in 1825/26.  As the brutal winter progressed the family grew nervous about avalanches and decided one night to leave to avoid being buried in their house.  As they made their way out a massive avalanche fell and buried the family but surprisingly a large boulder caused the avalanche to split around the house, causing no damage there.  When people came back to look for them the next day it was an eerie scene with an immaculate house surrounded by snow and the family dog sitting on the front porch howling so loudly they could hear it miles away. Whether or not that actually is the source of the saying I don’t know, but Wikipedia backs up the story of the Willey family and it’s an interesting piece of history about where I climbed!

Anyway, I found the mountains to be peaceful and beautiful, didn’t give me the willeys at all.  When the lesson started I made my way with my Mountain Guide from Eastern Mountain Sports up the slope of what seemed to me an icy and steep ascent, what a naive perception, the slope above was much steeper and icier!  The first five minutes I was slipping around and my new trek poles kept collapsing.  Add to that my disheveled non-mountaineering appearance with my snowboarding pants and goggles and it would have been clear to anyone I was a novice at mountaineering…

  <– how to properly climb a mountain in crampons

But once I got my crampons on I started doing better.  At first I tried to trudge straight up the mountain taking large strides.  My guide told me that actually the best way to walk was to take lots of tiny and deliberate steps.  He said I should always be thinking about conserving my muscles and using my spine… if my calves were aching I was doing it wrong.  So he showed me how to walk properly:  digging my heel in so that the pressure was resting on my skeleton, not muscles; walking sideways; and pointing my toes downward.  It’s a strange way to walk, but the climb became so much easier once I got used to it!  Also, using that technique you get to stare out over the valley below you instead of at the slope in front of you! After I got the hang of walking in the crampons he taught me a second walking technique.  I was a big fan of this one.  Basically you use one foot to dig in perpendicular to the slope and the other foot to dig in with just your toes.  I was a little less secure walking this way but was very effective for getting up steeper and icier slopes.  Once we added in the ice axe I started looking a little less like a novice.  I got the hang out self-belay with the ice axe (step, step, stab, pause; step step stab pause; …) and started to think the steep ice slope was not so steep.

Next we practiced a series of roping techniques: short roping and different ways to belay and repel.  It’s amazing how sturdy of a belay you can create just using your body or your ice axe!  My guide emphasized that roping techniques are to make you feel more secure in sketchy situations.  If the slope is just a bit too steep for your comfort, rope to something.  Often the added security of the rope taut on my harness kept me on my feet.  Plus if I did fall the rope would keep me from careening 100’s of feet down the mountain slope.

How to self-arrest with an ice axe

The last thing we did was my least favorite: self-arrest.  This basically means fall down the mountain in various unnerving positions and stop yourself properly with your ice axe.  I went down on my stomach and back head first and feet first.  The key here is to get your second hand on your axe right away and to get the point in the snow and the adse away from your face as soon as possible. Oh, and most importantly, keep your feet up.  My guide told me that if my crampons catch the snow it will break my ankle and leg in multiple places until I stop… ouch.  He also told me a brutal story of a climber he was with that was using the ice axe improperly and the spike went straight through the guys stomach and out his back.  Apparently this man then hiked out two miles with an ice axe going straight through him… that’s more badass than I am I’m afraid.

Hopefully this day of beginning mountaineering has prepared me for what’s to come, which I have to admit is fairly intimidating when I see pictures like this from last year’s climb:

Mountaineering School

This will be me in 3 months… that’s a scary thought…

So I need to take a mountaineering course before I climb Mt. Shasta.  There’s an option to do this the day before my climb through the Shasta Mountain Guides but I would like to take one on the east coast before.  This course will teach me how to do very important life-saving things like: self-arresting when falling on rock and ice, using an ice axe, recognizing avalanche risks, etc.  From the Mt. Shasta SWS Guides site, I apparently need to know how to do the following: “Walking with the ax, ice ax self-belay, ice ax self-arrest (from all positions), crampons boot fit and adjustment, walking in crampons, flat-footing, french technique, german technique,using the front points, and glissading.”  It’s a little intimidating that I don’t know what half of these things are…

So far I’ve had a hard time figuring out where or what kind of course to take.  There are several 1+ day courses in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and also in Acadia Maine.  Since I’m from CA I don’t really have a good idea of where these places are, but google tells me they are 3-4 hours away from Boston… not too far, but pretty far for someone without a car.  I think I’m going to do a 1 day private course in the White Mountains, either through International Mountain Climbing School or Eastern Mountain Sports.  Here’s the sum of what I’ve found for mountaineering schools out here, if anyone has any input, reviews, or suggestions please comment!

  • International Mountain Climbing School: 1-3+ day mountaineering schools with 1-4 people in the White Mountains (North Conway, NH).  Price reduces with more people but I’m the only person I know that wants to take this course and it would probably be more focused to my needs by myself.  Price: $275 for one full day.
  • Eastern Mountain Sports:  Multiple types of courses in the White Mountains and at Lake Placid (NY).  For my needs it seems like I may need to take Mountaineering 101 AND 201, but I will have to check with them to see.  If only one of the courses would be sufficient this is my cheapest option at $150, but it would be a class of unknown size, have a specific curriculum not tailored to my needs, and is only offered  this weekend and April 6th, which doesn’t leave much flexibility for planning.  A second option with EMS is a private course tailored to my needs.  This option is also $275 for one full day.
  • Acadia Mountain Guides: In Acadia, Maine.  This school boasts custom, fun, and picturesque training in mountaineering schools.  On the downside, it is much further north than the White Mountains.  Price: $250

Breaking 2,000!

1/3 of the way there!

Thanks to everyone that rallied over the past couple of weeks to push me over 2,000… that’s 1/3rd of the way there!  I’m so excited to see all this support pouring in from new and old friends and even strangers!  Thanks so much!

Over the weekend I did another 4 mile run and this week I’m going to start ramping up my weight training at the gym and by running/working out carrying a weighted backpack.  More to come on that later in the week!

Also, this week I plan on launching my charity Etsy store, so if you would like to donate an item to sell let me know, otherwise keep your eyes out for the post on that to check out the neat things my friends and I have to offer — all proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Fund.

Oh, and one more thing — Tomorrow (tuesday the 19th) the Breast Cancer Fund is having a webinar about chemicals in cosmetics to avoid.  I’ll be joining in, you should too!  Check it out here: http://www.breastcancerfund.org/community/join-a-webinar.html

Let’s do some math…

Image via NIH

(Image from NIH: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/assets/docs_a_e/environmental_factors_and_breast_cancer_risk_508.pdf)

Breast cancer is a complex disease with many contributors.  While I ran today I did a little math about my risk for breast cancer:

  • 1/8: the risk that any woman will get breast cancer
  • 3: the number of my family members that have had breast cancer, including my mother and aunt.  A strong family history means I may be predisposed to the disease. 
  • ~50: The age my family members were diagnosed with breast cancer. Diagnosis before age 50 is often considered an additional risk factor for a familial link to the disease.  My doctor has told me that the earliest I would see the disease if I’m going to get it is -10 years from my relative’s diagnosis… so I’m looking at ~38 years old.
  • 29: My age (*in June)… if a breast cancer tumor takes 10 years to grow from a single cell (*breast cancers grow at different rates, some very quickly some very slowly) then it is possible that there are breast cancer cells showing up already in me.

This terrified me, especially when I started to consider my many lifestyle factors that may also contribute to breast cancer.  Too much sugar, too much beer, smelly cosmetics full of things I know are bad for me… I started to freak out a little.  But then I remembered why I was running and that I’m still learning and revising my life to be healthier, and I did some more math.

  • 99: the percentage of my food that is non-processed and organic
  • 10: the number of cancer-fighting foods I have consumed today (apples, blueberries, goji berries, flax seeds, baby broccoli, white beans, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, baby kale). (I love this book about eating for health)
  • 3.6: the number of miles I ran today. Exercise can drastically reduce your breast cancer risk.
  • 14,179: the height of Mt. Shasta

As I finished my run today I felt empowered and imagined every step I took blowing up any cancer trying to take hold in me.

To learn more about what you can do to reduce your risk factors for breast cancer, check out the Breast Cancer Fund’s page of tips: http://www.breastcancerfund.org/reduce-your-risk/tips/

Breaking 1000


Woohoo, just passed 1,000$ of fundraising. 1/6 of the way there! Thanks so much to all of my friends and family that have donated so far, you guys rock. And thanks to everyone for the encouraging words, both about the climb and about my mom. Your encouragement has been a big boost to me this week!

I’m trying to come up with some creative ways to reach my target, so far I’m thinking an Etsy store and a party.  Would you donate an item to sell in my Etsy store if I do it?  Would you donate $5-10 to come to a house party (booze and food provided)???  Do you have any other ideas of how I can raise $5,000 more???  Let me know in the comments!

and again, BIG THANKS to everyone who has supported me so far!

Gear, gear, gear!

Osprey Ariel 65 – The official pack of the Climb Against the Odds 2013 team

Gear is starting to come in and I’m getting excited.  Osprey is a major supporter of the Breast Cancer Fund and is providing us with the Ariel 65 pack this year.

From their press release today announcing their support of the climb this year:

Osprey is a long-time supporter of the Climb Against the Odds. 2013 marks the eighth year that the award-winning pack manufacturer has sponsored the event. In addition to providing Ariel 65 and Aether 70 packs, Osprey is hosting a daylong mountaineering course for team members in partnership with Southwest Adventure Guides.

Breast Cancer Fund – now celebrating its twenty-first year – has led 13 successful Climb Against the Odds mountaineering expeditions around the world. Funds raised through climber sponsorship directly support the organization’s work to translate the growing body of scientific evidence linking breast cancer and environmental exposures into public education and advocacy campaigns that protect health and reduce breast cancer risk.

The pack is pretty awesome and looks like space gear compared to my old aluminum frame Kelty.  I’m excited to get all of this cool gear and start breaking in in as I train for the climb!

From ashes comes beauty

I’ve been reading John Muir’s “The Mountains of California” as I train to give me inspiration through his amazing descriptions of California’s natural beauty.  This morning I came across this description of pine trees rising from the ashes of a forest fire, which struck me as appropriate for where I’m at mentally right now.

“After a grove has been destroyed, the ground is at once sown lavishly with all the seeds ripened during its whole life, which seem to have been carefully held in store with reference to such a calamity.  Then a young grove immediately springs up, giving beauty for ashes.”

This journey has given me the opportunity to talk to people from my past and people who knew my mother about her life.  She sewed so many seeds throughout her life, particularly through scouting and her activities with youth groups. As I talk to people now and hear their memories of her I see how much beauty has arisen from those seeds she carefully cultivated over the years. From the ashes of the tragic loss of my mother I’m finding much beauty in the life she lived through the many lives that she touched.

And from the ashes I hope to continue to create beauty in her memory.  This is what keeps me inspired.

Tahoe National Forest
(no re-use without permission)

February Training

I’m trying to get into a routine with training now, but between blizzards and a cold it’s been a rough start.  The Breast Cancer Fund has provided me with a schedule of activities I’m supposed to do each month to train.  Here’s February’s plan:

My training schedule for February

I’ve done a few 1-2 mile runs now as my “aerobic” activity  and I’m trying to be better about getting some yoga in every couple of days.  I’ve found a couple of really great iPhone and iPad apps to help.  For running, Runkeeper is pretty awesome for tracking and sharing with fitness-minded friends.  I also really like Yog, which lets you race people in real time using your phone to give you pace/place updates as you go.  For yoga, I’ve enjoyed using Pocket Yoga Builder and All-In Yoga.  If you have any favorite fitness apps you think I might find useful please share in the comments!

I’ve also got a resolution to be more gym oriented, since the snow and cold weather has been keeping me less active than I need to be at this point.  I’ve started going to my school’s gym and enjoy running on the treadmill.  Last week I attempted my strength exercises for the first time using some scary looking machines.  I managed to get through the recommended set of 10 exercises without issue, although I had to give up after 10 bicep curls because my scrawny arms simply couldn’t lift the bar anymore.  Aside from the strange stares from the men working out (they were probably wondering what a 11o lb woman thought she was doing on the weight machines) I’d say my first experience with the weight machines went pretty well.  I’m looking forward to going back this week and improving my performance, especially on that stupid bicep curl machine that got the best of me!

I’ve also bought a trial membership to Boston Sports Club, which I’ve heard lots of good things about and is a little closer to home than my school gym (and much nicer).  We’ll see how that goes.

The one thing my training is seriously lacking right now is some good hikes. Since I don’t have a car it’s a little difficult for me to get places to hike.  My pack for the climb should be coming next week, so I think once I get it I’m going to fill it with rocks and put a sign on the back and “urban hike” through Boston, what do you think?

Welcome to my Climb Against the Odds Blog!

Hi, my name is Kristin and I’m climbing a mountain.  I’m climbing a physical mountain in June, Mt. Shasta in California, but I’m also climbing a personal mountain.

This past July my mom passed away from breast cancer, she was only 59.  I’m climbing Mt. Shasta for her, with the Breast Cancer Fund as part of their Climb Against the Odds program.  As I prepare to climb those 14,000 feet in June, I will also be mentally climbing mountains: I will be learning to live without my mom but to carry on her love and compassion, I will be struggling to convince people that environment and lifestyle are preventable contributors to breast cancer, and I will be growing stronger as I train to undertake this task.

Please bookmark this site and check back often.  I will do my best to update with my training progress, any fundraising events, and information on how you can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Me and my mom in 2006

Me and my mom in 2006