||Centre alums plan Climb for Hope
RELEASED: October 23, 2008
DANVILLE, KY—Next January, Patrick Brigman '07 and Hari Vasupuram '07 will participate in a philanthropy event to remember—ascending an almost 20,000-foot active volcano to raise money for breast cancer research. Brigman and Vasupuram are participating in a group climb to the summit of Ecuador's Mt. Cotopaxi, the world's tallest active volcano, in conjunction with an organization aptly named Climb for Hope.
The organization seeks to raise money for the research of Dr. Leisha Emens at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Emens is developing an immunization procedure that would eliminate the need for risky chemotherapy. On their website, Climb for Hope says of the immunization, "Not only does the vaccine address some of the most aggressive and lethal forms of breast cancer, but the research is expected to derive advances for many other forms of cancer as well. Our [fundraising] advanced the work being done by Dr. Leisha Emens by more than six months."
Funding for Climb for Hope is through donations given to climbers. Brigman and Vasupuram have set their sights high with donation goals of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. The donations they raise go directly to Climb for Hope. Not only are the climbers seeking donations for the important research, but also for the equipment necessary for them to climb that ranges around $1,500.
Besides these initial monetary costs, Brigman and Vasupuram, both beginning climbers, say the training will take tolls on their bodies as well.
"We average running 20 miles a week, while working out at the gym 4-5 times a week," Brigman says. “It's a very serious climb, including glacial traversing and technical training. They claim they can teach us the skills we need before we summit and I'm hoping they're right," Brigman jokes.
A common question posed to the two philanthropists is, "Why breast cancer?" Brigman responds, "Although we've seen the effects of the cancer through our friends' experiences, it's never directly affected us. The main reason we're doing it is because we're lucky. And we want to give back to people who haven't had the lives we've had.
“The adventure that Climb for Hope has provided for us gives us the opportunity to get people excited about donating to a good cause," Brigman adds. “Also, our climb and the difficult training we're enduring signifies overcoming adversity, much like the suffering of many breast cancer patients."
Brigman also says that Centre significantly influenced their decision to climb.
"A liberal arts education is great for fostering your work ethic and understanding the views of the people around you," he says. “I would'nt be the person I am without the relationships and education I received from Centre."
If you're interested in making a donation or checking their status so far, you may do so at the following websites: www.active.com/donate/CFH09/patrickbrigman or www.active.com/donate/CFH09/harivasupuram
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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