This Year’s Climb To Conquer Cancer


Last year I participated in Flagstaff’s Climb To Conquer Cancer Event with my mom group and it’s been one of the ways I give back to my community each year.  Last year we raised $240,684.33 and this year we raised $249,241.25 toward cancer research.

This year it was more special to me because I shared the day with my five-year-old son who did the climb with me. Now to give you a little bit of background on what the “Climb” entails, you start off at the base of Mount Agassiz at 9,200 feet and once you get to the top, you are at 11,500 feet. So it’s quite a climb wouldn’t you say? And it’s over a 7-mile stretch. 

I thought JJ, at the age of five was old enough to start grasping the concept of fundraising and giving back to his community through a charity. So we set him up to do the climb with me. JJ was able to raise money through family and friends that donated and we walked in memory of his grandfather who died of a brain tumor. I think it meant a lot to his grandmother that we did this

I knew that his five-year-old body wouldn’t be able to climb the entire seven miles, so I was smart and brought an umbrella stroller with me, which did make the journey much more difficult than previous years.  It marked the first time I couldn’t make it up all the way. I was one mile before the finish line before my back and arms started to spasm from pushing the stroller. The shooting pain was really bad and JJ was too tired to walk it, so we were 1 miles short of fully completing the climb, but we did take the bus to the top, instead of back down the mountain. 

  Here’s our progression in pictures: 

Photo Aug 23, 9 45 26 PM

This year, Kelly, her 3-year-old daughter, J Myster, and I were the only ones from MONA (Mothers of Northern Arizona) that did the climb. You can see the kids found fun things along the way. Every tree and pine cone was an interest to them, and of course peeing on trees. 😉 

Photo Aug 23, 9 45 45 PM

JJ even helped push his own stroller from time to time. 

Photo Aug 23, 9 46 00 PM

Photo Aug 23, 9 46 19 PM

Photo Aug 23, 9 44 55 PM
We also had to stop and take selfies. 🙂  

 Photo Aug 23, 9 46 40 PM

 Four miles into the climb. I was still feeling ok as long as I took breaks. 

Photo Aug 23, 9 47 37 PM
Together on Mile Five!


At The Top Of The World!


Getting to the top of the mountain after getting off the bus for the last mile. 

Cheerleaders cheering everyone on at the top.
Photo Aug 23, 9 50 06 PM
Loving The Cheerleaders!
Famous Look out from Snowbowl Road.
Famous Look out from Snowbowl Road.

Photo Aug 23, 9 49 17 PM

 It was important for me to share this day with my son because I want him to grow up wanting to give back to his community. I really want him to realize that “he” can be a good part of this world and make a difference in people’s lives. 

I’m very proud of him for the parts of the mountain he did climb! It was a lot to take on for five-year-old who still thinks walking home from school is so far away.  Way to go little dude! I can’t wait to see what you can do next year on the climb!

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

40 thoughts on “This Year’s Climb To Conquer Cancer

    1. Thank you Gabby!! Its one of the first steps I think in helping children realize the world doesn’t revolve around them, that they themselves can shape the world they live in.

    1. It was really hard to give up at that last mile, but I really don’t think I could have physically gone on any farther and I didn’t want to scare my son by pushing it to an unnecessary extreme since we were alone and I was his only caretaker at the event.

  1. What an awesome fundraising event. What makes it even better is that you did it with your son. What a great experience for both of you.

  2. That is just great!!! I love that you had your son join you to teach him the importance of fundraising. This year, you two are making it all the way to the top! 😀

  3. That is beyond amazing that you raised that much money for cancer research! I’ve lost a couple of aunts and one uncle to cancer, so I wouldn’t mind doing something like this to give back to the community in their memory.

    – HilLesha O’Nan

    1. I probably should specify that the event as a whole raised that much money toward cancer research, I “alone” did not. But I am so happy to see that the event exceeded last year’s donations.

  4. Love this post. Love it! Your son is definitely a trooper. That conviction on his face! It will manifest itself in wonderful ways later in life. And yes, I agree with many other commenters when they say how awesome you are for doing this, and instilling compassion into your child at the perfect age. We’re all human, and giving is a fundamental thing that connects us all together. He’s also enjoying the beauty of nature, and appreciating what his hard work can to for himself and a team. Excellent!

    1. Thank you so much! I am aim to inspire, and actually a lot of the people attempting to make the climb that day, some in wheelchairs, or on crutches or leg braces, inspired me. Some even with Cancer. That to me is incredible! Its definitely an inspiring event to attend and be apart of every year!

  5. Aww that is awesome 😀 It’s great that you’re including your son in stuff like this to teach him how to help and give back. I’m doing something similar. We’re not walking but my son & I are doing a 24 hr game-a-thon to raise money for children’s charity. He’s super excited about it and keeps asking me when it starts 😛

  6. I love that you took the bus to the top. It sends such a strong message about perseverance, that you should always see things through even if that means accepting a little extra help to get there and there’s no shame in it.

  7. It is so wonderful to see children actively involved in such great causes. There will be a similar event this Saturday close to where I live; children will be setting up a lemonade stand and wearing yellow!

  8. What an amazing cause and it’s so aweosme that the kids wanted to join in. You are raising a beautiful family 🙂

  9. My kids have made some pretty ambitious hikes! Congrats to the whole family on the accomplishment for a good cause.

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