Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Climb for Hope Makes it home!!!

This picture was sent to me by one of the climbers in the Climb for Hope group. I have never met Beth Dyer, but have had several correspondences with her before her climb. She bought one of the fundraiser t-shirts from the Lycoming Lacrosse team and took it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

The picture shows: front row (left-right) Molly O'Brien (PA at Annapolis Breast Cancer Center), Andy Buerger, Beth Dyer. In the back is Dr. Leisha Emens.
She is the wonderful physician that treated Chris with such dignity and respect while she was at Johns Hopkins.

The following text is from an email that Andy sent to me after Beth sent us both the picture. Andy is the creator and primary contact for the Climb for Hope program.

Thanks for sharing that picture. It's a great shot -- so glad you hauled that t-shirt all the way to Africa and then along our 65 mile journey to the 19,400 summit. It's a real tribute to Christine.

Charlie: As Beth pointed out, I took a minute before our mid-night departure to remind our climbers why we were there. Yes, we were there for our own reasons, but we were there for a greater reason as well --- to carry something with us -- a t-shirt or a memory of someone who couldn't make that climb. With that, I told the time I was climbing with Christine's memory in my heart. I was taking her memory to the top with them. (And every hour for 8 hours I thought about Christine and what good things are being done under her name.)

I told the 25 people in that tent that when it got dark and cold and we were tempted to turn back, ponder what challenges Christine went through and how important it was us to walk in her pain for a while. Besides we couldn't let down the hundreds of your supporters that were following us.

So, Charlie, every single person made it up to Africa's highest peak, miraculously. We fought debilitating blisters, stomach problems, dysentery, exhaustion, and terrible cold. I have to think that Chris gave us little tug every once in a while when we were struggling.

I'm proud to tell you that yes, we had 100% success, but I'm so much more proud to tell you that we carried Chris' memory (and thanks to Beth, her t-shirt) to the summit for you and your family. You were an inspiration to us all. Please also know, we raised over $200,000 to fight this terrible disease so other women won't have to go through what your courageous wife struggled with.

Christine DeWitt's name and memory will continue to be a blessing.

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