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  Mt. Everest 2005: Four Friends To Climb Everest For A Cure: World Record Holder of Most Everest Summits, Apa Sherpa, to Join Team


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©EverestNews.com

Chuck Huss, Dan Smith, Rob Chang and John Gray announced they have joined together to form the Everest Climbing For a Cure Expedition 2005 (ECFACE 2005) in an effort to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain in May of this year.

The four will also be joined by Everest legend Apa Sherpa as Expedition Sirdar. Apa is the world record holder of the most summits of Everest with 14.

In January 2005, the American Cancer Society announced that cancer has surpassed heart disease as the nation’s most lethal illness for those younger than 85. While many factors such as family history and environmental conditions are beyond one’s control, it is estimated that 60 to 70% of all cancer could be prevented through diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle choices.

That is why the team’s mission is to leverage community interest in their expedition to encourage individuals to make healthy diet, exercise and healthcare choices. In its efforts leading up to the climb of Everest and subsequent talks about the climb, ECFACE 2005 is devoted to motivating people to make smart nutritional choices, get moving, stop smoking and get screened for cancer quickly and early.

Working with partners such as the Breast Cancer Fund, the team is committed to speaking directly to over 100,000 people in a variety of corporate and community forums over the next year.

“Climbing a mountain like Everest, takes a lot of team work and making the right small decisions for success in the long-run,” said Rob Chang. “Living a healthy life also takes team work and realizing that small decisions can influence one’s long-term health. That is the message we will carry to the top of the world.”

The team will begin their trek to Everest Base Camp on April 3, 2005. They will be joined by Paula Stout, a former political and high-tech communications professional, as Base Camp Manager.

TEAM BIOS

Project Director/Climber: Rob Chang, has been climbing since 1987 and is a professional mountain guide and public speaker in California. He has climbed in Peru, Argentina/Chile, Mexico, Canada and extensively in the United States, Alaska and has over 1500 days in the field. He has been on 5 expeditions to the Nepal Himalaya that include Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Imja Tse and Lobuche East and has over 180 + days above 16,000 feet. He enjoys all disciplines of climbing from frozen waterfalls, to the big walls in Yosemite, to the cozy confines of an indoor rock gym. Rob worked in the outdoor industry with over 10 years with Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). On his off time, Rob enjoys horseback riding, the beach, reading, cooking fine foods with friends and spending time with his niece and nephews. Rob founded ClimbingForACure after his beloved sister, Marie, died of a rare form of cancer in 2001.

Climber: John Gray came to mountaineering after a competitive life of rowing and mountain bike racing. He has climbed a variety of peaks in the US and in Nepal including Denali and Imja Tse. For fun, John enjoys cycling, reading non-fiction and working on bikes and Vanagons. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

Chuck Huss: Climber and Team Doctor. Chuck is a 54 year old emergency physician from Iowa City, Iowa. As a veteran high altitude climber he has logged some 21 climbs above 20,000 ft. This will be his sixth Himalayan climb and fifth 8,000 meter expedition. He has participated in 39 international climbs, summited 400 peaks worldwide, reached the highest peak in 14 countries, and recently completed ascending the highest 100 peaks in Colorado. He has been expedition and trek leader on numerous international trips. He has served as team physician for countless climbs and served as station physician at South Pole Station Antarctica. Successful summits include Denali, Aconcagua, Mt Cook, Mt Logan, Huascaran, Ojos del Salado, Sajama, Llullaillaco, Illimani, Chimborazo, Cotopoxi, Pik Kommunizma, Licancbur, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Pico Bolivar, Cerro Pissis, Island Peak, Parinacota, Korona, Mt Athabaska, Mt Egmont, Grand Teton and Devils Tower. In his spare time, he has also completed over 30 marathons and 14 ultra-marathons.

Team Sirdar: Apa Sherpa, the world record holder of 14 summits of Everest. In the past eight years, Apa has climbed with team members on a variety of expeditions and has become a close friend through many days spent together on and off the mountain. Additionally, Apa and his wife, Yangi have spent vacation time with the team members in both the US and Nepal. Apa had not planned to climb Everest this year, but once he heard his friends would be attempting another summit, he joined the team.

Climber: Dan Smith lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is a geographic information systems programmer working for the Department of Natural Resources. He also has 25 years working experience as an instructor/guide for the University of Utah, Natural Resources Learning Program. Also works part-time at REI as a sales specialist. Dan has climbed in Tetons, Wind River Range, Canada, Colorado, Russia, Chile, Venezuela, China, Peru, Argentina, Alaska, Nepal, and Bolivia. With his 15 years of high altitude mountaineering experience his has attempted mountains over 16,000 feet 19 times with 15 summits to his credit. Other interests include photography, biking, skiing and canyoneering.

Base Camp Manager: Paula Stout arrives at EBC after a lifetime spent on airplanes and in politics—working on the advance team for the White House and being spokesperson for the RFK Memorial. She has over 15 years of communication and marketing experience, including ghostwriting three best selling books and, most recently, directing communications and marketing for SAP, the world’s largest enterprise software company. An avid snowboarder, hiker and mountaineer, she has now left politics and corporate life behind her to focus on her great love of adventure and encouraging other women to get moving in the outdoors. She joined the ECFACE 2005 in memory of her grandmother who died of breast cancer and her mother and cousins who, thanks to early detection and good lifestyle choices, have survived it.

Rob, 36, has been climbing since 1987 and is a professional mountain guide and public speaker in California. He has climbed in Peru, Argentina/Chile, Mexico, Canada and extensively in the United States, and Alaska. He enjoys all disciplines of climbing from frozen waterfalls, to the big walls in Yosemite, to the cozy confines of an indoor rock gym. Rob worked in the outdoor industry with over 10 years with Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). On his off time, Rob enjoys horseback riding, the beach, reading, cooking fine foods with friends and spending time with his niece and nephews. Rob's Comments on why Climbing For A Cure was developed and the importance of “climbing to benefit others”.

"I truly believe in life's full circle and all those who are involved in a person's life. When my sister battled her cancer, it was not only with a great physical determination that she had to muster every day to stay alive, but also a deep-rooted psychological conviction for wanting to live every day that showed me what courage and energy truly are. I was at her side at her passing, the feeling of emptiness of watching her last breaths and knowing her life here was gone at that last moment, forged my determination in drawing positive energy to help others from this life changing experience.

After her memorial and services, it became very apparent to me, my gift of climbing could become a vehicle to raise awareness and hope for those around me in terms of detecting and preventing cancer as well as motivating others to choose a healthy and positive lifestyle.

Climbing is a metaphor for life, there are ups, downs, plateaus, summits and failures. Climbing forces one to confront fear, elation, discomfort and many other emotions head on. What climbing has taught me is the concept of survivorship. We not only strive to survive in life, but also choose to live life when we climb. At times we are alone, but most of the time, we have partners and this is what truly defines what a team and a commitment to others are about.

Climbing For A Cure hopes to inspire those who follow our climbs to be aware of cancer and ways to prevent it. We hope women will act to do a BSE (Breast Self-Exam) as a high percentage of breast cancer is found by BSE's. These simple forms of information and our vehicle of climbing to inspire those to act can save lives.

Climbing involves many different aspects of the human physiology. I really believe all people have the potential to be a climber. We all climb in life when there are difficulties, and the two energies, whether a real mountain, or a life challenge, require the same commitment for success in terms of reaching for a summit.

Early on in my climbing, I developed my skills for my personal benefit. As I became a guide, it became a professional pursuit in which I have the enjoyment to share with others. In 2000, I was involved with an Everest environmental expedition that focused on cleaning up the mountain with great concern for the environment. All my climbing has had a focus, but with the development of Climbing For A Cure, the mission and purpose could not be more important or more critical - in helping to save lives and have a positive influence on those around me.

Our commitment to "Climb High to Benefit Others" could not have more importance now that cancer has surpassed heart disease in terms of the leading cause of death to those under 85 in the United States. I also believe that this is a unique expedition in that it is four climbers, male climbers, climbing on behalf of female health issues, and truly climbing for ones that we love.

I hope those around me will join Climbing For A Cure to meet its objectives and to help its project partners."

"In watching my sister fight this difficult disease like climbing a mountain, it dawned upon me that if I could continue my life with just one-percent of the energy and courage that she exhibited, I would have the spirit and vision to complete any mountain -- real or metaphysically -- for those who have fallen before her, and those who awaken to be affected by cancer today. -- Robert Chang"

On the Internet at: www.breastcancerfund.org

Cancer Facts for 2004

These statistics were provided by the American Cancer Society. These numbers are a mind staggering reminder why it's so important to raise awareness and prevention in our communities.

Cancer accounts for one-quarter of all deaths in the United States second only to heart disease.

1,374,900 new cases of all types of cancer

563,700 new deaths
290,890 Male
272,810 Female

In Male high incidence categories
32% Lung and Bronchus
10% Prostate
10% Colon and Rectum.

In Female high incidence categories
25% Lung and Bronchus
15% Breast
10% Colon and Rectum
6% Ovary

The Breast Cancer Epidemic (From the BCF Website)

Breast cancer now strikes more women in the world than any other type of cancer. There are 1,050,346 women worldwide currently fighting breast cancer, and 372,969 women will die from the disease this year.

In the past 50 years, the lifetime risk of breast cancer has nearly tripled in the United States. In the 1940's, a woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer was 1 in 22. In the year 2003, the risk is 1 in 8.

In 2003, an estimated 211,300 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected in the United States. An estimated 40,000 will die from breast cancer in this year alone. In addition to invasive breast cancer, 55,700 new cases of in situ breast cancer (cancer that has not invaded surrounding tissue) are expected to occur during 2003. Approximately, 85 percent of these cases will be ductal carcinoma in situ.

Click Here to See More About Breast Cancer Facts

Rob Chang Everest Climber, author and motivational speaker. To book Rob e-mail

 

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