After doing the Climb for 10 years and getting a lot of fantastic support from people all over the world, we decided to retire the big community event for a year in order to make the Climb a special part of the Survivor Conference in November. It was incorporated into the program in 2009 and was a big success. We opted to make it later to celebrate those survivors who are still with us and to commemorate those we have lost.
Although it was going to happen later in the fall, Geoff still wanted to mark the anniversary of his personal achievement. On October 16, 2010, Geoff, his dad, the YACC team, Lorna and Rob Larsen from Team Shan, and one lonely pooch, Banger, braved the wind and rain and made our way up the hill.
Talk about team building! You really get to know what people are like when you're making them walk up the city's biggest hill with ice flying into their eyes. There was more "I can't believe we doing this" than "I hate you for making me do this" so I guess we're a pretty good team after all.
A few weeks later, we made the voyage again. This time we brought the 43 cancer survivors and supporters who came to St. John's for the 2010 Survivor Conference. Not only was the Climb a symbol of achievement, one of our survivors turned it into a beautiful way to let go of some of the things we've been holding onto.
Participants were invited down a more secluded path where they were able to either throw a rock toward the ocean symbolizing getting rid of something they have been holding onto for too long or toss some sand toward the sea as a way of saying goodbye to the departed members of the community. It was simple, intimate, and just what we needed to make the Climb that much more special.
Posted on Dec 07, 2010 - 02:21 PM by angie
One of YACC's earliest events was the Climb on Signal Hill in St. John's, NL. The event has morphed into a fixture of the annual Survivor Conference and we no longer "climb" with the general public, but that doesn't mean people have forgotten about it.
Samantha Phelan and Erin Brennan are taking the event to Tanzania as they embark on their event, Seven for Seven: Conquering Kilimanjaro, a seven-day adventure dedicated to helping the 7,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer each year in Canada.
Both women are adventurers who had personal goals attached to this climb, but that wasn't enough for them. "Erin and I believed that this climb could mean so much more if we were doing it to try and garner awareness for a cause that hits close to home for both of us," said Phelan.
Phelan's sister was involved with YACC (then RealTime Cancer) when she was in high school in St. John's. They have kept up with the organization since then and it was an easy decision for them to choose it as the beneficiary of this latest adventure.
"[Erin and I] liked how YACC was locally created and then expanded nationally. We also felt that YACC's overall mission is very unique and targets an audience that is often underexposed in the difficulties they may face when becoming diagnosed. It was important for us to bring awareness to that," said Phelan.
This event isn't going to be a walk in the park. Phelan says she is an avid hiker, but this is her first mountain climb. Brennan has a little more experience and conquered Peru's Machu Picchu in four days. They will travel with a group of other climbers led by a trained guide.
The two travellers will start their climb on December 29 and plan to be making their final ascent to the summit on January 4, 2013 around 6 a.m.
In addition to raising $2,000 to help young adults deal with issues related to cancer, Phelan says their goal is to make it to the top.
"We've heard horror stories about people who haven't been able to summit and we really don't want to get ahead of ourselves with more intricate goals or ambitions. Like those who we are climbing this mountain for, we know that there will be a big obstacle to overcome but it's no use getting caught up in everything else that comes with the obstacle," she said.
"We just want to take it one day at a time and take comfort in that fact that each day we are getting closer and closer to conquering it."
Visit the Seven for Seven: Conquering Kilimanjaro fundraising website to learn more or to make an online donation.
Samantha Phelan is a recent commerce graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland. A restless adventurer, she has lived and travelled throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and most recently, South America. Through the climb she hopes to raise awareness for Young Adult Cancer Canada and prove that anyone, anywhere can overcome any obstacle with the proper mindset; whether that be a 20,000 foot mountain or a recent diagnosis of cancer. To read more about Samantha, you can visit her personal blog, Modern Day Marco.
Erin Brennan has a wish to successfully climb one of the seven summits of the world. This climb started out as a 35th birthday adventure, however, she shortly realized that there are people in their 30s dealing with cancer and celebrating life, not just their birthdays. Erin thrives on adventure and challenges and believes having a positive attitude will conquer so much. Previous adventure travel has included Europe, North America, and South America. Cancer touches young and old in all different forms and she hopes to bring awareness to Young Adult Cancer at home in NL. She believes that the world has endless opportunities; a donation to help people deal with cancer gives forever!
Posted on Sep 16, 2010 - 01:50 PM by Geoff
Check The Climb page for more pictures from the 10th Climb.
I think I speak for all of us at YACC when I say WOW. The 10th Annual Climb was this past Saturday and we are so pleased with the outcome! More than 300 climbers came out despite the weather and over $20,000 was raised for young adults with cancer!
The 10th Climb was made more special this year with the participation of about 50 young adult cancer survivors and supporters who were on the Rock attending our annual Survivor Conference. We had the two events the same weekend intentionally, and while it made for some crazy logistics at times, it was absolutely worth it.
I have been here for two and a half years and I love my job. But this was the first time I got to meet so many of the people I have heard so much about. The people we are here for. It was a humbling experience and I'm proud to say I have come away from it with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication to my own job.
This year I had the opportunity to organize The Climb for the first time, and thinking about it all now, one thought eclipses all others: I could NOT have done it with out the help of some of the most selfless and dedicated volunteers I have ever met.
We are so privileged and extraordinarily lucky to have had the team that we did all coming together for this event. Advertising, face painting, parking direction, registration and barbequing are only a few (and I really mean just a few!) of the tasks that were required of our volunteers, and they completed all these and more, going above and beyond the call of duty in many instances to ensure the event was a success. To all of you, I shout a sincere THANK YOU!
Finally, another huge THANKS to all of you in the community who also braved the cold, came out, raised funds, and at the same time dedicated your Climb to loved ones in your life. You are all a continuing inspiration to me and so many others.
Posted on Oct 26, 2009 - 03:13 PM by Beth
Don’t forget to keep checking back each day until October 24 - THE CLIMB!
October 23 - And the #1 Reason To Climb Signal Hill tomorrow:
Eighteen today. Every day we get 18 new members in the family, a family of isolated, under-served, under-researched young adults with cancer. This Climb, and everything we do, is for them and all their survivor brothers and sisters. See you on the Hill!
October 22 - Reason To Climb #2:
Zero. Well not exactly zero, but about as close as you can get, 0.08%. That is the percentage of new cancer research spending focused on young adults in 2006 (the last time we looked, which we will do again in 2010).
All we have to say about that is unacceptable.
October 21 - Reason To Climb #3:
I s o l a t i o n. The cancer system is neatly organized into two silos, the kids and the adults. We fall at the top end of the former and bottom of the latter, which basically means we don't fit in anywhere. This is the primary reason why young adults with cancer identify isolation as the defining element of their cancer experience after diagnosis. Isolation from other young adults who "get it."
At YACC, we get it. What exactly is "it"? It's knowing that comes only from experiencing. We've been where they are and we know the way out, it's why our vision is to eliminate the isolation for young adults with cancer. To give them a community of their peers so that they may find the inspiration, information and support they need to overcome and make the rest of their life the best of their life.
October 20 - Reason To Climb #4:
It's bigger than you think. Stay with us while we get a little researchy: Yes there are more than 6,500 young adults diagnosed with cancer each year in Canada, that's 18 a day. But the issue is MUCH bigger than that as we represent a major percentage of the loss due to cancer.
What has a greater impact on society, 1,000 people dying at 75 of heart disease or 1,000 people dying at 25 of cancer?
There is a value on those 50 lost years, it's measured in potential years of life lost and while young adults represent nine per cent of all cancer diagnoses under 70 years of age, we represent over 28 per cent of the potential years of life lost.
The number 28 is far more than a number: It represents 28 careers stopped before they get started, it ends careers far before they peak, it halts the creativity and contributions to our community. It is represented by widows and widowers, and kids who grow up missing a mom or dad.
The number of young adults diagnosed with cancer each year in Canada is substantial, even more significant is the impact of that diagnosis on the individual, their family, community and our country.
These young adults need our help to get through the biggest challenge of their life.
October 19 - Reason To Climb #5:
Life is different in your 20s! It's different in your late teens and in your 30s, too. Makes sense that it’s different if cancer hits. Is your fertility a concern when you're 65? No, not for most people, but it's a huge deal when you're 25. It's one of the many issues that make the cancer experience different for young adults.
Because it's different we feel strongly, and we'd arm-wrestle you over it, that young adults need (and deserve!) different solutions. It's not that we don't love our grandparents, we just don't want to talk about dating during chemo with them.
Climb to support the customized support programs made just for young adults with cancer.
October 18 - Reason To Climb #6:
We change lives. It's hard to be humble when talking about our programs, but in our pursuit to preserve this endearing part of our character tact we'll let the survivors do the talking:
"This was amazing. Young Adult Cancer Canada has changed my life in so many ways. Thank you for this gift of helping to truly become a survivor." -- 2008 Survivor Conference participant
Did we mention that all the funds raised at The Climb support YACC's programs to help young adults deal with cancer?
October 17 - Reason To Climb #7:
Exercise is good. This just in: getting your butt off the couch and pushing your heart rate up, sweating even, is all good for you! All the better when you can combine the physical benefits of tackling Signal Hill with the emotional boost that comes from helping others.
Young adults with cancer across this country need you to get in gear, or at the very least they need to you sponsor someone who is registered and ready to climb on October 24.
October 16 - Reason to Climb #8:
At YACC our survivor network touches almost every major Canadian city. For years we have been helping young adults across Canada deal with cancer and this adventure has brought some incredible individuals, amazing spirits, into our life. Many of those people faced the toughest of challenges, their very premature and early passing from this life. We miss them, carry them with us in everything we do and this year we are dedicating our Climb to them.
Andrea, Kelly, Christine, Mark, Damon, Lisa, Erin, Kasey, Janelle, Nadine, Misha and Nadine you inspired us and your survivor brothers and sisters will be climbing for you on October 24!
We encourage you to dedicate your climb to a loved one.
October 15 - Reason To Climb #9:
Over 4,000 people have climbed in support of Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) and this year we'll have over 50 young adult survivors from coast to coast representing almost every province in Canada.
They will be here attending our annual Survivor Conference. We thought it would be cool to bring our survivors and the conference together with the 10th Climb!
These survivors, who have faced and are still facing all types of cancers and the many challenges that result, are the reason we are here. They are the reason we Climb.
October 14 - Reason To Climb #10:
Hope; It makes everything better. We all need it and you can never have too much. This event grew from an experience that appeared to have no hope, YACC founder Geoff Eaton's experience in ICU on life-support back in 1999.
After leaving ICU, Geoff had to learn to walk again. On the first anniversary of his first steps, Geoff tackled Signal Hill in St. John's for the first Climb.
Miracles happen every day, sometimes we need to be reminded of that.
We hope you can support a Climber or join us for a reminder on October 24.
Posted on Oct 14, 2009 - 04:46 PM by Beth
The following is an article written by a buddy of ours who will be attending this year's Survivor Conference on the Rock, and who will also be participating in the Climb the same weekend. We thought she had some pretty awesome (and potentially quite hilarious!) ideas about fundraising and we wanted to share them. Great inspiration for anyone wanting to do something a little different with their fundraising this year!
By Victoria David
There are several approaches to fundraising, but when you have a busy schedule, if often comes down to asking your friends for money for a cause you care deeply about. Now, economics tells us that people will give us money if we offer them something in return. So applying this theory to fundraising, we should offer our friends an incentive to donate. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a significant incentive in supporting young adults battling cancer, but I’m talking about short term, entertaining incentives.
As an example, the person who contributes the most to my fundraising for The Climb gets the honor of choosing my outfit for the event (suggestions to date include pirate and viking). The logic goes that my friends will be more generous if they can get a good chuckle out of it. The key is to think of something that you would rarely do, and offer to do it! For example, I am a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, and I am sure a few of my friends would pay good money to watch me climb Signal Hill with a Leafs jersey. Alternatively, offer to do the climb in an original manor (as a three-legged race, dressed in a Santa outfit, or even by walking on your hands. Granted, this would require special talent). Hopefully this will inspire some creative ideas. If not, talk to your friends, I am sure they will have good ideas of things they’d love to see you do!
Congrats Victoria! We admire your motivation (and guts!) and can't wait to see you in your get-up, whatever it may be, on Climb day!
Posted on Oct 01, 2009 - 02:58 PM by Beth
Thanks for your interest in YACC’s 10th Anniversary Climb up Signal Hill! Here are just a few things for you to note for this year’s event:
1. You may notice that this year's Climb is happening about a month later than previous years so it might be chilly. We suggest you come prepared with a long-sleeved shirt you can pop your t-shirt on top of, and maybe even a jacket and/or umbrella just in case.
2. We will not have access to the lobby of the Aliant building this year due to renovations. Please note that washrooms will be accessible at the Baine Johnston building directly across the street.
3. As with every other year, make sure you wear comfortable clothing and footwear and bring plenty of water.
4. It really, REALLY helps us when you count any cash, cheque and coin pledges BEFORE you arrive! Please come prepared knowing the total amount of pledges you are carrying. Also, if you have a lot of coin, we ask that you roll this in advance as well.
5. If you are collecting both ON- and OFF-LINE pledges, please note that the physical pledge sheet is for OFF-LINE pledges ONLY. You DO NOT need to record your ON-LINE pledges on this sheet. If you ONLY have ON-LINE pledges, you DO NOT need to bring a physical pledge sheet.
That’s it for now. Thanks and happy fundraising everyone!
Posted on Sep 21, 2009 - 01:36 AM by Duncan
Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) is the only national registered charity in Canada committed to supporting young adults with cancer. Currently there are only 8 young adult support groups in the whole country, compared to 23 adult support groups in Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto alone. We know cancer is different for young adults so it just makes sense that life is too.
YACC offers cost-free support programs to young adult survivors and supporters and raises most of its funding for these programs at events like The Climb; receiving no government funding. So come out and support the cause!
Posted on Sep 21, 2009 - 01:35 AM by Duncan
Each year in Canada, more than 6,500 young adults are diagnosed with cancer; that's 18 per day! These young adults are faced with a host of different issues because of their stage in life; fertility, relationships and finances are completely different issues for a 20-year-old than for a 60-year-old.
Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) is committed to providing information, inspiration and support to young adult patients/survivors and supporters, ensuring that they don't deal with their challenges in isolation from others who get what they are going through. That's why we're taking our strength, support and courage up Signal Hill for the 10th year in a row!
Posted on Sep 21, 2009 - 01:35 AM by Duncan