By Adi Saric
In addition to hosting Lighthouse-sponsored volunteering opportunities for our employees through the Lighthouse Cares program, Lighthouse features those employees’ personal stories on our website and social channels. Below is one example of a dedicated employee giving back to a cause that is near and dear to them.
I recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support Fred Hutch’s Climb to Fight Cancer on Mount Rainier. As many know, cancer is a devastating disease, estimated to strike one in three women and one in two men in their lifetimes. Personally, I witnessed the struggle my family, friends, and colleagues endured, and I lost my dad to this terrible disease.
To set the stage, let me first share why I chose Mount Rainier as the mountain I wanted to summit. I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland and work out of Lighthouse’s Zurich office, but prior to moving to Zurich, I lived in Seattle for over 20 years. I am a true Seattleite at heart, as I have spent most of my adult life in the city, receiving my degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington and started my career in software engineering at Microsoft. Like a lot of the folks in the Pacific Northwest, I always loved hiking and feel my best when I am on the mountain. I have summited Mount Adams and hiked to Camp Muir, a point on Mount Rainier, at a little over 10K feet (3K meters) and have always wanted to climb the rest of the trek. To me, Mount Rainier has always been this super impressive mountain and a true symbol of the Pacific Northwest that I one day hoped to summit. However, I could never really seem to make the time to commit to climbing it. Work and life just seemed to keep getting in the way.
Additionally, about ten years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and received the support and help she needed to fight and make it through. My brother and a really good friend have also had their battles with cancer and through it all I could not help but think how fortunate we were to live in a community like Seattle with impressive cancer care organizations like Fred Hutch, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and the UW Medical Center. It was actually through Fred Hutch that I first heard about the Climb to Fight Cancer, an event combining mountain climbing and cancer research by allowing climbers all over the world to summit mountains and raise millions for research. This was very appealing to me, as it combined my passion for the climb and my passion for finding a cure for cancer. With 2020 on the horizon, I decided that it was time I took part and planned to achieve my goal this coming August 2020.
To get started, I will leverage Fred Hutch’s guide service to start my training and secure the correct equipment. Additionally, I will be preparing on and off the mountain and focusing on my endurance, strength, and cardio. I will be doing a lot of hiking around Zurich and possibly come out to Seattle to climb Mount Adams again, as there are not many non-technical high peaks close by in Zurich.
If you are interested, feel free to reach out to me to learn more about my journey, train with me, find out how you can join me on Mount Rainer, or donate by checking out my personal Climb to Fight Cancer page.
For more information about the Lighthouse Cares program, click here.