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News Release

Local cancer survivor group treks to new heights in Nepal

April 13, 2011

On April 6, 14 Iowa cancer survivors boarded a plane in Des Moines headed across the world to Nepal. The group, led by Dr. Richard Deming, medical director of Mercy Cancer Center, will spend nearly three weeks trekking the Himalayan Mountains with the goal of summiting Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on earth. Charlie Wittmack, Des Moines attorney and adventurer, plans to meet up with the group at Everest Base Camp on April 18 as part of his most recent adventure, the year-long World Tri. 

“Climbing a mountain is a metaphor that many cancer survivors use to describe their cancer experience,” Dr. Deming said in his statement of purpose for the trip. “Only cancer survivors themselves can articulate the overwhelming sense of accomplishment they feel when they succeed in reaching the ‘summit’ of their cancer journey. But what every survivor will tell you is that, during the ascent, his or her perspective on life is forever changed,” he added.

The participating survivors represent at least six types of cancer including brain, breast, prostate, Leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease and Sarcoma, and range in age from 27 to 65. The group spent a great deal of time together before the trip for physical conditioning, team building and fellowship.

For a detailed account of their adventures, visit Nearly daily updates include special videos, breathtaking photography and an ongoing blog of their experiences and observations.

Contact Gregg Lagan
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

cell 515-490-6636

Above and Beyond: Cancer Survivors Trek to Everest
1111 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 (515) 247-3121
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