Climbers Against Cancer
As acronyms go CAC is pretty good and never fails to put a huge schoolboy grin on my face. But underneath the amusing abbreviation is a far more serious message. A message which becomes very obvious when you understand CAC actually stands for Climbers Against Cancer.
Cancer is a word that I don't particulary like. If I'm honest it's a word that fills me with dread and conjurs up deeply rooted memories from my teens and more recent past. It's a very personal word to me, a word I can most definately relate to. So when I was recently asked to photograph top British climber Lucy Creamer for the CAC website wearing one of their t-shirts I jumped at the chance to get involved.
For those of you who haven't heard of, or know anything about Climbers Against Cancer, it's a charity that was recently set up by John Ellison - I'll let John explain
"Only when you’ve been in the deepest valley can you know how magnificent it is to be atop the highest mountain"
Twelve months ago I received the news most people fear when I was told: “Sorry to have to tell you this John but you have an advanced Cancer that is aggressive and to add to that you also have a secondary cancer.” In short I am terminally ill and my clock is ticking. This you may say is my ‘crux’ and I either fall or push on to the summit. For me there was only one option and since that day I have kept on climbing, taking in the beauty around me and enjoying every challenge that lies ahead.
"The man at the top of the mountain did not fall there"
Whilst sat amongst so many friends from around the globe at the recent World Climbing Championships in Paris it became clear to me just how unique climbing is as a sport and how special we are as climbers. No matter what nationality, creed or colour there is a natural desire to support each other and encourage one another to succeed. Very few sports display this togetherness and it was at this point I realised that we are in fact an ‘extended family’.
"The strength of a man is not in his muscles but what is in his heart"
Whilst thinking about the possibilities of ‘Climbers Against Cancer’ as an idea I remembered the saying ‘strength in numbers’ and how the world of climbing as a family has so much power to deliver a message across the globe. If, as a group of friends, we come together and support ‘CAC’ it can help others in the future by raising awareness and funds to further research into finally finding a cure for cancer! Being open about my own predicament has helped others feel more comfortable in discussing this disease and whether talking to adults or children I have seen a huge change in attitude.
"Life is not measure by the breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away"
Top climbers from around the world have already offered their support to the campaign by wearing the Climbers Against Cancer clothing and by following their lead and purchasing a T-shirt from the website shop you will all be contributing to the fight against cancer. All proceeds from sales or donations will go towards International Cancer Research Charities from each of the five continents.
"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars"
We hope to create a climbers’ ‘Family Album’ and once a T-shirt is bought we will be asking the recipients to add to the growing display by downloading their own photograph whilst wearing the garment. Blogs and links can also be added so as to create a portal that climbers will visit on a regular basis to keep up to date with each others achievements and exploits.
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference"
Similar to other climbing websites across the world we would also welcome sponsors and a number of companies have already shown a desire to support the initiative and our fight against cancer.
"You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth"
So there you have it - Please log on to the website http://www.climbersagainstcancer.org Read about other inspirational folk who are dealing with living with cancer in one form or another (here) and show your heart felt support by buying a very cool t-shirt for £15, once you've got it, take a photo of you wearing it in some cool location and up load it to the website and become part of a growing band of supporters..
Lucy and I had a great day in the studio shooting some portraits. The one you see here is my favourite, but I can't decide if I prefer it in B&W or colour! Let me know what you think.