Center News

Climb dispatch: Teams summit Kilimanjaro

Four teams cap the 2011 Climb to Fight Breast Cancer by reaching the top of the 19,000-foot Tanzanian mountain

Sept. 19, 2011
Carol Roll Kilimanjaro

Climb to Fight Breast Cancer participant Carol Roll acheives a peak experience on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The 2011 Climb to Fight Breast Cancer season ended on a 19,341-foot high note, with six participants reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania Sept. 4. This summer three other Climb to Fight Breast Cancer Kilimanjaro teams made the summit as well.

Climb to Fight Breast Cancer participant Carol Roll said few in the group had previously trekked higher than 14,000 feet, the approximate altitude of Mount Rainier. "The effects of the altitude on Mount Kilimanjaro surprised us, the way it leaves you out of breath and plays with your head," she said. "You feel really goofy once you’re above 16,000 feet."


Despite the challenges, Roll and her teammates, including cancer survivors Diana McCasey and Ellen Kraly, persevered and were rewarded with peeks into Kilimanjaro’s crater and finally, the view from Uhuru peak, considered the mountain’s summit.

Jameson Dowell, Kate Serrurier, Diana McCasey and Ellen Kraly

Pictured from left: Jameson Dowell, Kate Serrurier, Diana McCasey and Ellen Kraly.


Once at the top, Roll—who previously climbed Mount Rainier and Mount Shasta with the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer —unfurled a set of prayer flags honoring friends and relatives who have battled cancer. Read Carol’s story here.

Roll’s Kilimanjaro team raised $88,000 for the Center’s breast cancer research. They celebrated afterward with a safari trip to Serengeti National Park.

Sign up for 2012 climbs

The Climb to Fight Breast Cancer includes training in mountaineering skills by professional guides. Registration is open for next year’s treks; email cfbc@fhcrc.org or visit the new Climb to Fight Breast Cancer website for more information.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.