Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) to Climb Highest Mountain in Africa to Raise Money for Cancer Treatment

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Volunteers and doctors with Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation, the leading global cancer care organization providing oncology education programs in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and money to advance cancer care for the world’s neediest patients.

Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) http://www.globalaccf.org, the leading global cancer care organization providing oncology education programs in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), announced today that it is partnering with Radiating Hope and Rad Global Adventures to climb the snowcapped African volcano of Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and money to advance cancer care for the world’s neediest patients.

The ‘Climb for Hope’ team of 25 climbers from a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels, including cancer survivors and caregivers, will hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro on June 15, 2020 to support the GACCF in its work to develop sustainable cancer education programs, with a focus on radiation oncology.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the African continent's highest peak at 19,340 feet and the world’s largest free-standing mountain. The nine-day trek starts in dense tropical rainforest, before passing through some of the mountain’s best features – the Shira Plateau, the infamous Barranco Wall, and scenic Karanga Valley on the way to the summit.

Each team member has committed to raising $10,000 to support the GACCF. Their goal is to raise more than $250,000. Donate here: http://www.globalaccf.org/climb-for-hope/.

In many locations across LMICs, delay in adopting advances in radiotherapy and lack of medical personnel is the limiting factor that impact improvements in cancer care. For example, the U.S. has on average one radiation oncologist per 71,000 people, whereas Tanzania has only two radiation oncologists, equaling one per 24 million people.

“Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a perfect metaphor for what a cancer patient goes through when batting the disease,” said Tonya Steiner, Executive Director of Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation. “It’s symbolic of the journey you embark upon after being diagnosed with cancer. There’s the diagnosis, figuring out a treatment plan and the treatment itself, which is the equivalent of trekking to the summit. You just keep climbing, pushing yourself further, overcoming the strain that comes with the journey. That’s why we’re asking colleagues, friends, and family to help us raise money to support our goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.”

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is not for the faint of heart. Mental toughness is just as essential as physical strength. The GACCF team will walk more than 5-10 miles a day for the duration of the climb. Climbers will endure difficult and perilous conditions, walking up 45-degree inclines with decreasing oxygen levels and face relentless winds that can be present throughout the hike.

Once they reach the summit the GACCF team will display prayer flags purchased by sponsors and dedicated to cancer patients who have faced the struggle of cancer head on. High at the summit, the flags will be flown as a symbol for cancer patients globally. Prayer flags have a long tradition of representing strength, hope, and well-being for the people they honor.

Joining the GACCF climbing team will be GACCF Ambassadors, Zoleka Mandela and Omarosa Onee Manigault Newman, along with GACCF executive director, Tonya Steiner and Radiating Hope executive director, Tom Ladd, a veteran mountain climber. This will mark Ladd’s fifth hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro on behalf of cancer patients.

Three days prior to the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, GACCF will sponsor the Greater Horn Oncology Symposium (GHOS) on June12-14 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. GHOS is a multidisciplinary oncology conference dedicated to increasing awareness of cancer care in the Greater Horn of Africa to improve the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, particularly radiation treatment in Africa. The forum will bring together local physicians and community leaders as well as doctors from North America and Europe to learn about ways to advance cancer care in this region.

Just as recent media coverage reports the largest-ever single-year drop in cancer mortality in the United States, millions of individuals world-wide receive inadequate cancer therapies with little hope for survival. This health care crisis is expected to grow, impacting millions more, despite tragically underfunded and inadequate resources and recovery efforts. Recognizing the immediate need and call for action, the GACCF is the leading global medical humanitarian organization to bring hope and modern cancer care to the world’s most vulnerable patients.

Cancer, in its many forms, continues to impact everyone, no matter where you live within the world. In 2018 alone, approximately 17 million new cases of cancer were with close to 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. And while one-third of the planet’s total population is expected to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, cancer incidence and mortality will continue to increase at alarming numbers in LMIC nations.

To learn more about how to support the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, visit http://www.globalaccf.org/climb-for-hope.

About Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation:
The Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) offers training, technology, access, and hope; specifically for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in South America, Africa, South and East Asia. The Foundation’s cancer care professionals help to implement and oversee training courses and workshops in collaboration with local partners such as universities, hospitals or governmental institutions that enhance cancer treatment through radiotherapy treatment. These regional programs aim to overcome the lack of trained professionals who treat cancer patients in the near term. By empowering local faculty to deliver training, the GACCF education programs encourage self-reliance and sustainability. To support the success of these programs, the GACCF provides project management, financial support, and professional teams from within and outside the region. For more information visit: http://www.globalaccf.org.

Media Contact:
Dwain Schenck
(203) 223-5230
dwain@globalaccf.org

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