A group of 14 Iowa cancer survivors has arrived at their base camp on Mt. Everest as part of their climb part way up the world’s highest mountain. Twenty-seven-year-old Justin Anderson of Ventura is a brain cancer survivor and one of the participants in what’s called “Above & Beyond: Cancer Survivors Trek to Everest”. Anderson spoke via cellphone from the base camp and said it’s been quite a journey since they left Iowa on April sixth.

He says they had quite a flight from Des Moines all the way to Kathmandu where they spent a day, and then on to Lukla, where the airport is considered one of the most dangerous since it has one of the shortest runways in the world. They’ve spent the last week hiking now, and have reached the base camp that sits at just below 18,000 feet.

Anderson says the group has worked hard in their climb to the base camp. He says it took a lot of strength and a lot of encouragement from each other, but they did it. Anderson says while the trip is great, most on the trip are looking forward to finishing the trip and heading home.

Anderson says he’s missing his wife and can’t wait to get home and tell everybody about his trip. Several cancer fighting organizations are sponsoring the trip along with the partnership with Charlie Wittmack, the first Iowan to scale Everest. Wittmack is in the midst of what he calls a World Triathlon Adventure which will culminate in his ascent to the summit of Mt. Everest.

You can see more about the cancer survivors adventure on Wittmack’s website at: www.theworldtri.com. Some of the other Iowans involved in the cancer survivor event are: Brandon Sickler of Des Moines; Theresa Britt of Ankeny; Gail Endres of Milo; Linda Hoskins of Albia; Trace Kendig of Adel; Karen Parman of Colfax; Peggy Jo Scott of Adel; Lynne Vestal of Clive, Kathy Wennihan of Des Moines.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City