FAQs & How to use this site
Home | About Us | Contact Us
The Front Line
The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair

PREVIOUS POSTS November 2017

October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 JUNE 2016 MAY 2016 APRIL 2016 MARCH 2016 FEB 2016 JAN 2016 DEC 2015 NOV 2015 OCT 2015 SEP 2015 AUG 2015 JUL 2015 JUN 2015 MAY 2015 APR 2015 MAR 2015 FEB 2015 JAN 2015 DEC 2014 NOV 2014 OCT 2014 SEP 2014 AUG 2014 JUL 2014 JUN 2014 MAY 2014 APR 2014 MAR 2014 FEB 2014 JAN 2014 DEC 2013 NOV 2013 OCT 2013 SEP 2013 AUG 2013 JUL 2013

Climbing Kilimanjaro with a Party of 200,000

Jan 9, 2015 - You've heard about it before (and are likely to again) -- I'm climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro next month to raise awareness of the importance of cancer clinical trials and to raise funds to help offset the shrinkage in federal support for our efforts within the NCTN. We're about one-third of the way to our Kilimanjaro Climb for Cancer Clinical Trials fundraising target of $250,000, and are launching a final publicity push on multiple fronts.

I want to be aware every step of this climb that it's also made to honor the more than 200,000 patients and healthy volunteers who have enrolled in SWOG clinical trials over the 7 decades. To that end, I'll be bringing them along. We're having the initials of as many of these participants as we can identify printed on an honor banner, which I'll carry with me to unfurl at the 19,000+-foot summit. I'll also be bringing a second banner, with the names of those generous donors who are able to contribute to the effort.

My training for the climb is progressing well (here's a brief video about it). To acclimate my body to the hypoxic atmosphere near the summit, I've rented a high-altitude sleep system, something like an oxygen tent but with precisely the opposite effect, and am now sleeping every night at 13,000 feet. I've spent many hours over the past few months racing up staircases and charging up hills here in Portland, and periodically more exciting places, when I travel on SWOG business (including a recent Andes climb). I head out to the Columbia Gorge and the Cascades every chance I get to build endurance, practice skills, and test out gear -- especially cold-weather gear (most recent piece of cold-weather gear acquired -- a shabby appearing but highly functional full beard).

SWOG is not doing this alone. The Alliance, the Children's Oncology Group, and ASCO's Conquer Cancer Foundation have all been working with us to help get out the word. The Mazamas mountaineering organization and Paul Steger, who will be leading the Kilimanjaro expedition, have been helping guide my training. Fellow SWOG member Dr. Brett Sheppard, who directs the pancreatic cancer program at OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute, will be my climbing partner. Those of you who have given generously to the cause are also a very real part of the climb (as are those of you who still plan to contribute). And finally, the roughly 200,000 volunteers who've taken part in SWOG clinical trials over more than half a century are not only the ultimate underwriters of this effort, they're also the primary inspiration for it. I'll do my best to honor them.


SWOG Logo Disclaimer | Copyright ©1999-2017 SWOG. All rights reserved.
Design and Hosting by nuMedia
SWOG is FISMA CertifiedSWOG is FISMA Certified