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Breast Cancer Survivors To Climb Japan's Mount Fuji (dateline December 13, 1999)

Fuji Mountain Climb
Photo courtesy of the
Breast Cancer Fund

The Breast Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing awareness and raising funds for breast cancer research, recently announced that several breast cancer survivors will attempt a third mountain climbing expedition set for August 2000. Climb Against the Odds Mt. Fuji will bring together 55 climbers from the United States including breast cancer physicians, researchers, activists, survivors, and men and women who have lost loved ones to breast cancer. This group will join a team of 150 Japanese breast cancer patients and advocates on Japan’s Mount Fuji (12,388 feet).

"It will be a great joy and honor to climb Mt. Fuji with women and men from Japan who, like us, are determined to stop the disease that has now become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide," said Andrea Martin in a Breast Cancer Fund press release. Andrea is a breast cancer survivor, activist, and founder of the Breast Cancer Fund. In the past, breast cancer survivors have attempted two other mountain climbing expeditions: Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua in 1995 and Alaska’s Mount McKinley in 1998. Both expeditions were sponsored by the Breast Cancer Fund.

17 breast cancer survivors participated in the Mount Aconcagua climb (23,000 feet) in 1995 after Laura Evans, a Stage III breast cancer survivor who previously underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy , became determined to climb mountains. "The metaphor was obvious: one step at a time with the support of friends, loved ones, and a skilled guiding team of seventeen women," Jeanne Rizzo, Public Relations Coordinator of Climb Against the Odds, told In 1998, five breast cancer survivors joined seven young women from Princeton University to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley (20,300 feet). A documentary of the Mount McKinley journey was recently aired on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).

The upcoming Mount Fuji climb has been made possible by Andrea Martin and Dr. Jinroh Itami, a respected oncologist who leads Meaningful Life Therapy, a cancer support community in Japan. Andrea and Dr. Itami believe that mountain climbing inspires hope in women as they fight breast cancer. ‘We climb like we face cancer - one step at a time, with the support of family and friends, drawing on our courage as we transform fear into whatever it takes to achieve our goal," said Andrea in the Breast Cancer Fund press release.

Additional Resources and References

  • Click here for ordering info

    Order the Climb Against the Odds documentary (featuring the Mount McKinley climb) and companion CD featuring musical selections from Celine Dion, K.D. Lang, Paula Cole, The Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Laura Karpman, Adam Levy, Billy Meyers, Wayne Horvitz, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and more. Click here for ordering and pricing information .