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Wayne Valley Coach Climbing For Cancer

03/09/2010, 1:19am CST
By No Author

Feb. 23, 2010


Wayne Valley Coach Climbing For Cancer


SEATTLE - This summer, Wayne Valley High School Fencing Coach Chris Awad will be climbing Mount Baker, a heavily glaciated dormant volcano in Washington State, to raise funds to benefit cancer research and has dedicated the climb to fellow coaches Molly James of Somerville and Barbara Lynch of Morris Hills, among others.

Mount Baker has an elevation of 10,781 feet and is the highest point of the North Cascades.  The 12 active glaciers of Mt. Baker cover an area exceeding 20-square miles.  The proceeds from his climb, made possible by Climb to Fight Breast Cancer®, will go to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

            "I've been around many coaches and athletes who have had to battle various forms of cancer," said Awad, in his 6th year as a Coach at Wayne Valley and a graduate student at Caldwell College.  "The battle these people take on to survive is an amazing one, they deserve the best research can offer, and hopefully I can use their strength and courage as motivation while training to climb."

            "My climb is dedicated to two very strong women who also happen to be fencing coaches," said Awad.  Molly James of Somerville has been coaching for 24 years and continues to coach her team and train for Veteran fencing events while battling a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia.  Barbara Lynch of Morris Hills has been coaching for 22 years but has been battling ovarian cancer for 4 years while continuing to coach her team and work at many national fencing events.  "Seeing both these women fight the battles they have been given and never allowing cancer stand in the way of anything they wish to accomplish, not only within their sport but in their personal lives as well, is something truly amazing," said Awad.

Professional guides from Alpine Ascents International will lead the expedition to the peak of Mount Baker.  The climb will have a limited number of team members - generally nine or 10 - as established by the guide service. Each participant commits to a fundraising minimum of $3,000 to $12,500, depending on the mountain.  Additional Climb to Fight Breast Cancer peaks include:


  • Mount Adams in Washington (12,276 feet)
  • Mount Elbrus in Russia (18,510 feet)
  • Mount Hood in Oregon (11,237 feet)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (19,340 feet)
  • Mount Rainier in Washington (14,411 feet)
  • Mount Shasta in California (14,179 feet)


Since the first Climb to Fight Breast Cancer 13 years ago on Mount Adams, the popular fundraiser has garnered more than $4.5 million in support of breast cancer research at the Hutchinson Center.                                                                                                                         

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the second most common

cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Scientists at the Hutchinson Center study many aspects of the disease, including preventive measures, risk factors and early detection. Details can be found at .

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