Climbing for a Cause

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Cherise Fleming was diagnosed with a brain tumor twelve years ago. During these past years she decided to make some dramatic life-style changes.

Cherise Fleming is a beautiful, young wife and mother who was diagnosed with a brain tumor twelve years ago. Her long term prognosis was not good. But, three brain surgeries and dozens of chemotherapy cycles later she is in near perfect health.

During these past twelve years, Cherise decided to make some dramatic life-style changes. She tried ice climbing, something she always wanted to do; “If I can do this, I know I can do anything.” Her first venture was scaling a 100-200 foot frozen cataract in a Canadian hamlet. She loved it! “Being in the mountains has become a celebration of life for her,” says her mother, Thelma Fleming. “This is all about controlling what you can control – because you can’t control the brain tumor.”

Recently, Cherise held a benefit for the American Brain Tumor Association and Evanston Northwestern Hospital. This was to celebrate her recent climb in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. She said 100% of the proceeds will provide for brain tumor research to “give others the opportunity I have been given.”

“This disease has been both a curse and a blessing,” says Cherise. She has benefited from the generosity of others and the true spirit of caring, through the support she has been given.

Cherise hopes to raise more money through other mountaineering exploits. “She has taken the proverbial lemon and is making lemonade with it. She is leading the way for more research to help others,” says Naomi Berkowitz, the American Brain Tumor Association executive director. “She’s an inspiration to everyone who meets her.”

The American Brain Tumor Association exists to eliminate brain tumors through research and to meet the needs of brain tumor patients and their families.

For more information contact the ABTA at (800-886-2282) or visit the web site, http://www.abta.org.

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Peggy Kasprzak
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