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:
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. 😉
JJ even helped push his own stroller from time to time.
Four miles into the climb. I was still feeling ok as long as I took breaks.
Getting to the top of the mountain after getting off the bus for the last mile.
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!
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