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Today marks one year since my teammates and I embarked on our trip to Tanzania to summit Kilimanjaro for charity. Can’t believe how fast time flies sometimes. I’m definitely thinking of my fellow “partners in climb" today, and I’ll wishing us all many more amazing journeys in the years to come.

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Support Texas 4000

I just donated to this awesome Tumblr, who will be riding a bicycle from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska during the summer of 2013 to fight against cancer. Click the link above to donate. Even if you can’t offer any financial support at this time, please spread the the word about this great cause.

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Danny

Today, I climb for Danny Shoemaker, one of my Survivor Summit teammates.

A few silly things that everyone should know about Danny:

  • He LOVES the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • He has a dog named Milkshake (isn’t that a cool name for a dog?).
  • He was our oldest participant on the climb, but you wouldn’t know it, because he acts like a big kid.
  • I’ve never seen anyone look so awesome with white sunscreen applied to their face.
  • He may or may not have known that tents have interior pockets where you can stow things.
  • We might have pretended that it was his birthday on our one-night, July 4 stay at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. He got a cake out of the deal, as well as the staff to sing him a song. He was a good sport the whole time.
  • When we got back from the trip, Danny serenaded my teammates and I with a “Call Me Maybe” parody video. He even wore his headlamp. We’re supposed to add our own clips to it, but I think his version is pristine as is.

And now, in all seriousness, it’s time for more things to know about this amazing person:

  • Several years ago, Danny lost his wife and his mom to cancer within months of one another. One day, while hiking with him, I asked him how he and his late wife, Susan, met. He told me the story, and discussed her six battles with cancer. After that day, I’d see Danny all ready to go in the morning, and I’d know wholeheartedly that he was doing this climb to honor her and her three children.
  • He raised over $15,000 for LIVESTRONG in the same manner the tortoise beat the hare; slow and steady, and never wavering. He always gave a shoutout to other members of our team when they hit their goals. He is such a team player.
  • Danny’s not a camper, nor is he a mountaineer. But he dedicated himself to this expedition completely. I’d watch his updates online before we met, and he was completely cognizant of how much time he needed to spend working out in order to climb Kilimanjaro. He’d go to the gym, climb stairs at work, and use a ball to increase his balance. He trained so hard for this adventure, and as a result, he got in shape, lost weight, and did great on the mountain. He truly lives strong.

I could go on and on, but I think it’s that last point that really taught me something; it’s important to “show up,” to find something you’re passionate about, and to give it your all.

Danny showed me the value in dedicating oneself to a good cause. So, many thanks to Danny for helping me understand this great lesson! And thanks for such a fun climb, too! Today, I climb for Danny.

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A short video slideshow of our Survivor Summit journey up Kilimanjaro, courtesy of my teammate, Mona Patel. Look for me around 2:15 (scrambling up the Barranco Wall); 2:35 (jumping with some of my teammates!); and 3:45 (holding our Honor Flag with names of cancer fighters and survivors on the summit!). Epic! So grateful for this experience.

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21 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Because the world can be pretty awesome, right?

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Six Weeks Until a Big Adventure for a Great Cause

Only six weeks left until I take off for Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro! I’ve bought my plane tickets, my immunizations are done, almost all my gear has arrived, and most importantly, my $10,000 minimum fundraising requirement for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG is in sight.

The next high priority items on my long list of things to do before I leave are: keep training; break in my hiking boots; fill my malaria and altitude sickness medications at the pharmacy; and make sure I have photos to process my Tanzanian visa when I arrive at JRO.

Needless to say, these last few weeks are going to fly by, and I’ll be standing on African soil soon! If you want to help me cross “fundraising” off my to do list, click “donate” on the right side of my blog, or visit my personal fundraising page.

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Come out to My Event Tonight to Fight Cancer

Come join me tonight at 7:00 p.m. at a party to celebrate the completion of my 200th beer at the Flying Saucer (in The Triangle at 815 West 47th Street Austin, Texas). In addition to hanging out with yours truly, you’ll also get a chance to partake in my $100 bar tab until it runs out. I will only indulge in one tasty craft beer, so I need some help from a lot of friends to finish my tab!

When I’m officially recognized in the “Ring of Honor” for tasting 200 beers over the past two and half years, I’ll be asking patrons of the bar to support my Kilimanjaro charity climb with Survivor Summit to fight cancer, which benefits programs and services at LIVESTRONG

If you can’t make it out, but want to help, you can still donate online. With almost less than $1,500 to until I reach my fundraising goal, any amount helps. Thanks to everyone for the support so far, and cheers to raising money, awareness, and hope in the fight against cancer.

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Dam That Cancer

Dam That Cancer is a stand-up paddle board event and signature fundraiser for The Flatwater Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides access to mental health services for worthy individuals and families affected by cancer.

Every paddler raises over $1,500 for The Flatwater Foundation and travels the entire length of Lake Austin, from Mansfield Dam to Tom Miller Dam—21 miles in all. Proceeds from this event provide access to mental health and wellness programs for those affected by cancer, who otherwise could not afford it.

This summer’s third annual Dam That Cancer fundraiser will take place on Monday, June 4, 2012, with a “We Paddle, You Party” fundraising celebration at the finish line at Hula Hut after the paddle. I’m volunteering at this year’s party and I’m honored to be supporting such a cool cause! You can support them, too, by donating to a paddler or coming to the event.

So come out for some great summer fun on June 4!

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Final ask letters going out in the mail ASAP. So far, I’ve received over $8,300 from amazingly kind people for my fundraiser for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG. That means there’s almost less than $1,600 to go before I can climb Kilimanjaro to fight cancer and honor everyone who’s been affected by this terrible disease. Friends, families, and stories from incredible individuals inspire me to climb. Can you help, or do you know someone who can? Click “donate” on the left side of my blog and please contribute whatever you are able to support this great cause!

Final ask letters going out in the mail ASAP. So far, I’ve received over $8,300 from amazingly kind people for my fundraiser for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG. That means there’s almost less than $1,600 to go before I can climb Kilimanjaro to fight cancer and honor everyone who’s been affected by this terrible disease. Friends, families, and stories from incredible individuals inspire me to climb. Can you help, or do you know someone who can? Click “donate” on the left side of my blog and please contribute whatever you are able to support this great cause!

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Lisa's reflections on summitting Kilimanjaro and raising over $10,000 for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG.