Climbers Against Cancer
So most of you will already have seen the CAC tee-shirts that are filling climbing walls with colour across the globe and taking over all social media sites. But how many of you know the story behind the whole thing. It is so easy to get on board with CAC and it is amazing how much of an impact it has already made but we should also try to not forget the harsh reality behind it all!
John and his daughter Charlotte
CAC Climbers Against Cancer is all down to one incredible individual John Ellison and although others have been involved with helping to get it up and running John has been the catalyst for it all. Last year John Ellison was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I have known John since a very young age and I have never seen him without a smile upon his face and some sort of witty comment at the ready. This has definitely not changed. If you have heard anything at all about CAC or about John himself I am sure you have heard nothing but good. Because the man is nothing but good.
Cancer. A word that so many people are terrified of. When someone mentions cancer do you think of death? I will admit that until recently I was guilty of this. Cancer will affect every single person in the world, directly or indirectly. Cancer used to be thought of as the end of a life but now we have found ways to treat it. This shows that we can find the cure.
To be honest I do not see John as a man with cancer. His positivity and generally bubbly personality means that most of the time I totally forget. I worked with John to help get his new project up and running. CLIMBERS AGAINST CANCER. Just a few months ago John, myself and Graeme Alderson sat and discussed the idea over lunch. I remember saying ‘John, This is going to be huge!’. But none of us could have expected the support and interest that it has already had. Since the very beginning John has taken his situation with such positive light and he is doing so much good with his situation. This man has an incredible way with people and he doesn’t half know how to talk. This has lead to a very extensive web of connections throughout the climbing community. A community that John has passionately embraced over the past years.
Climbing is unique. It is my life, job and passion. Inevitably the majority of my life is spent in the climbing world. I meet people who climb for so many different reasons and enjoy different aspects of the sport. Everyone participates in their own way. I have always been so fascinated by the way climbing can be so many different things to so many different people. Yet everywhere you go be it at the climbing centre on a sunday afternoon, trad climbing on Stanage Edge, hanging out in the famous campsites of Yosemite, at the opening ceremony of a world cup, a late night cave session, your first trip to font, everywhere you go there are people who share this passion for climbing. Think about the people you have met? The family this sport/hobby/recreation/lifestyle has created for you.
We are powerful as a group of people. We share the same passion. Okay, so maybe we differ in disciplines, views and opinions but one thing we share is the love for this sport. John saw the kindness, togetherness, the sense of community and the love in our sport and he decided to harness the good it can bring.
It’s time to raise awareness. Take the fear out of the word cancer. Raise money and FIND THE CURE!
John’s project Climbers Against Cancer is big and its growing but it could be bigger and better. It’s up to you now! All we are asking you to do is buy a CAC tee shirt. This is a totally non profit organisation. The money raised will be spread across cancer research charities over the 5 continents. It’s said that one in three people get cancer. Personally I find that terrifying! It’s a disease that no one is immune to. Any one of you reading this could be affected. Play your part in finding the cure. Buying a teeshirt is simple. Click HERE!
Once you have your t-shirt get a picture uploaded to the website. Get involved and become part of the extensive and growing CAC family. Join myself, Alex Puccio, Jakob Schubert, Sean McColl, Jorg Verhoeven, Ramón Julian Puigblanque, Sachi Amma, Sasha DiGiulian, Angie Payne, Dave Macleod and hundreds of others.
Photo Credits: Lukasz Warzecha
John is involved in every part of the t-shirt production. From picking the shirts up at the printers to packing them and posting them out. He is promoting CAC in every way possible at competitions, online interviews and even on the radio. Behind all of this John still has cancer. He is in pain every day. But he is not letting any of this stop him and despite my nagging he hardly even stops to rest. John might be dying but he is living more than anyone else I know!
John isn’t the only one fighting cancer. We all should be!
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about it’s width and depth”
John and myself at the launch of the CAC WEBSITE!