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Inaugural Big Expedition for Cancer Research Encounters Mountain As Challenging As Finding a Cure for Cancer
Date:7/7/2008

ions. The team, selected by some of the nation's most respected and celebrated mountaineers, was not merely "bagging" another peak. They went on an adventure into the unknown that had everyone on the edge of their seats and, when the team determined that there was too much risk in the last 500 vertical feet, they received accolades for their smart thinking and sound judgment in one of the world's most remote locations.

"The climbers are to be congratulated for going so far under trying conditions but especially for putting safety first. It is a principle that governs each of our clinical trials," said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., president and director of the Hutchinson Center. "We are proud of the team for their remarkable challenge of this unclimbed mountain."

Reaching the summit was, indeed, the objective of the effort, supported by more than 15 of the outdoor industry's leading companies. It was, however, not expected at any cost. Cancer research is a long, arduous road and, as Hutchinson Center epidemiologist David Thomas, Ph.D., said afterward, " ... in cancer research, things do not always turn out as expected or as one would like. I am very pleased that the four climbers used good judgment and did not take unnecessary risks to get to the summit." On all counts, the measure of the Big Expedition is in the advancement of the cause.

Thousands followed the Big Expedition online via the Hutchinson Center Web site and in media reports.

The adventure began three weeks ago when Farmer and team mates Dawn Glanc, 33, of Bellingham, Wash.; Kevin Mahoney, 39, of Madison, N.H.; and Bayard Russell Jr., 31, of Madison, N.H., arrived in Reid Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park. The effort had been 18 months in the planning, with the complete support of the National Park Service.

The Big Expedition for Cancer Research is a concerted effort to draw the public closer to the cancer research under way at the Hutchinson Center and around the world. The C
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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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