In December of 2020, Dwayne Coleman was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer at age 55. A father and avid hiker, Coleman and his son Michael decided to take their shared love for the outdoors and use it to help others fighting the disease. Last August they both hosted their own local climbs for Climb for a Cure, a national event organized by advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) that raises awareness and funds with group climbs across the U.S. This week, they plan to participate again the same way they did last year—2,000 miles apart.
“My cancer is still very fresh in my mind,” Coleman told Fight CRC. “Because the cancer surgery and treatments robbed me of my good health for a solid year, I am still struggling to get back in shape. But despite all that I have been through, I am determined to Climb for a Cure.”
On August 6, Coleman will host a 3.6-mile out-and-back hike near Tyro, Va., while Michael will host again in Bozeman, Montana, in honor of his father’s fight with cancer. Their hikes are two of 12 Climb for a Cure events. Proceeds will go towards research and spreading awareness of colorectal cancer.
“I am participating in Climb for a Cure as a way to prove to myself and others that I’m not going to let my diagnoses stop me from living my life to the fullest,” said Coleman.
Fight CRC has been working to advocate for and empower patients battling colorectal cancer since 2005. They provide informed patient support, raise funds, work on research, and advocate for impactful policy changes. This year marks Fight CRC’s seventh year hosting Climb for a Cure.
“For many, colorectal cancer is the biggest mountain they will ever face,” Fight CRC states on their fundraising page. “Climb for a Cure is an opportunity to heal and fight alongside a community of champions.”
Whether you are interested in making a donation, joining a local climb, or learning more about ways to get involved, go to FightCRC.org.
Cover photo of Dwayne Colemen (left) courtesy of Elizabeth Fisher of Fight CRC.