Press Releases and Statements

Climb Against the Odds Team 2017

A message from Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., President and CEO


Each step taken teaches something.

Usually, we are reporting to you on breast cancer policy and science. But we climb mountains too! This past week, twelve women and men from across the country gathered in Mt. Shasta as the first Climb Against the Odds team to climb under the banner of our new name. CAO17, also known as TRIPLE-D, was this year’s daring and determined dozen.

They came together for the first-time last week from four states, 12 cities, and with ages spanning 40 years (28 to 67). This year’s team was made up of breast cancer survivors, and friends and family members of those struggling with the disease. They are moms and dads, spouses, partners and colleagues and military vets. They are individuals who happened upon us online, who have been referred to us by past climbers, and who represent companies that have long supported us. Over the course of the week, they attempted to summit Mt. Shasta and grew into a powerful team – Partners in Climb!

The CAO17 team showed that they know what it is to fully commit – to train, to fundraise, to pack their gear, carry their heavy packs, and rope-in with strangers. They trained and fundraised hard. They took on a challenge that was daunting and frightening at times. All the climbers, in some way, were forced to surrender to the mountain, even as they sought to climb her.

Our climbers shared their stories so that others would be moved to action. A record breaking 12,000+ people followed and supported this team’s live journey on social media and on our website, using the fabulous FireWhat tracker map, as they journeyed towards the summit. The climbers carried prayer flags up the mountain with the names of those who are suffering with, or lost their lives to, breast cancer and other cancers.

Above all, they faced their fears, altitude, weather, sickness, and the pains of the climb in the name of prevention. The climbers reached their personal high points and we rejoice and celebrate the team for coming down safely together. Our mantra continues, the summit is optional. Coming down safely is mandatory.

Congrats to the CAO2017 team for raising over $100,000 and dedicating yourselves to our bold mission of reducing exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to breast cancer! Shout out to our sponsors, who helped make this climb possible:

Also sending love to Shasta Mountain Guides for supporting each climber along the way, positively ensuring safety and fun. Thanks FireWhat, Inc. and Garmin for the amazing tech support and tracking platform, helping us keep track of our fabulous climbers from start to finish. Big kudos to our sponsors The North Face Osprey Packs Klean Kanteen and CLIF Bar whose support made it possible for five climbers to be here this year.

We also want to express a warmhearted thank you to CAO17’s friends, family, BCPP Board Chair and past climber Ellen Kahn, past climber and survivor Teasha Curren, Peak Hiker Pamela Thornton, Shasta local and past climber Linda Chitwood and all of the community volunteers. Together we are strong!
Every day, but especially during our annual mountaineering expedition, we are reminded of our founder Andrea Martin, on whose shoulders we stand. Andrea was the woman who started us climbing on the path to prevention, whose early warnings that environmental exposures are making us sick. She changed the way we think, talk, and act about breast cancer. Her presence was felt with us on the mountain and continues to guide us.

As a science-based organization, we continue to translate scientific research into public education, market campaigns, and public health policy that will be more protective for generations to come. This is not an easy time to be working in the environmental health field but we are as daring, determined and dedicated to our mission as our team has been to their climb! Thank you for your continued support of our efforts and those of our climbers.

2017 Climbers

Elizabeth Brown, Sheila Brown (BCPP staff climber), Amy Chevalier, Lindsey Dal Porto (sponsored by Common Cider), Mike De La Cruz (sponsored by Clif Bar), Jose Lopez (sponsored by Kleen Kanteen), Rachel Luthy (sponsored by North Face), Tim McClintick, Lisa Neuburg (sponsored by Osprey), Laura Passmore (sponsored by Clif Bar), Andrea Shanti (Mt. Shasta community climber), and Wendy Young.

Support our climbers!

Climb Against the Odds 2018

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