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Fundraiser to help cancer patients

Of the Record staff

The 8th annual Hera Foundation Climb4Life presented by Black Diamond will be held in Salt Lake City Sept. 17-20 to benefit ovarian cancer research.

Parkite Lisa Curley is helping to run this year’s event after Climb4Life founder Sean Patrick passed away from ovarian cancer in January.

Curley said she has been helping with the event for the past seven years after she saw a postcard in Colorado promoting the annual event.

"I started as a participant," she said. "I actually lived in Chicago and called Sean, and I found her so inspiring just on my first phone call."

Curley said Patrick founded the Hera Foundation and Climb4Life after battling doctors for two years just to get a diagnoses for an illness she was convinced she had.

"She went to all these doctors with her symptoms," Curley said. "One doctor told her to get a hobby. She was already an avid outdoors woman (who) hiked, skied and biked. But she knew her body and (her) symptoms. She was relentless."

Curley said Patrick was eventually diagnosed, but the cancer had spread too far.

"I you catch it early, it’s easily treatable," she said.

She said Patrick’s doctors didn’t catch it early, and Patrick did the only thing she could.

"She became an advocate," Curley said. "She started the Hera Foundation. She thought (she could use) the disease to start to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, and (do fundraisers) to put the money toward cutting-edge researcher."

Curley said 85 percent of the money raised from the event will go to fund research. The remainder is used to help women who have ovarian cancer to travel to cancer-treatment centers in Salt Lake City or Denver.

"The purpose of Hera is really to have women take control of their own health," she said, "and to help scientists find new directions, treatment and prevention."

Climb4Life events are now being held in five states, as well as Mexico. Each event raises close to $100,000.

The event is open to men, women, children and groups. Professional climbers Joe Kinder, Jason Kehl, Heidi Wirtz, Katie Brown, Alli Rainey, Julia Niles and Kevin Wilkinson will be there to help newcomers learn to climb.

The registration fee is $75 per person and there is a fundraising minimum of $125. Participants are allowed to run or walk instead of climbing.

For more information, or to register, visit http://www.herafoundation.org.


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