A local chiropractor is climbing his way to a prostate cancer-free future.
Dr. Darren Paul is in training mode now, hiking the Agassiz Grind every lunch hour and doing longer hikes when he can in preparation to ascend Mt. Baker next month.
Paul, owner of the Agassiz Family Chiropractic Centre, is part of an international group that climbs a different mountain each year, but with the same goal of raising funds for the Prostate Awareness Foundation. The annual Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness began in 2001. The climbers are mostly a select group of prostate cancer veterans, family members, loved ones and friends. Paul joined the group in 2003 to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was a huge feat and Paul has been climbing for the cause ever since. Every second year they do a “big climb,” such as Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, or Ecuador’s Mt. Cotopaxi.
For this year’s smaller climb, Paul convinced the crew to come to this part of North America to summit the iconic Mt. Baker in Washington, a 3,286 m ascent. From July 10-18, the crew will meat in the North Cascades National Park, do some training days together, then five of them, including Paul, will attempt to summit the 10,000 foot climb over the course of 12 hours. After the climb, the team plans to come to Harrison Hot Springs for some debrief and down time together.
This year, more than 200,000 men will be told they have prostate cancer, with 30,000 dying from it this year. For Paul, who has been a practicing chiropractor in Agassiz for 16 years, the climb to beat cancer is personal. His father has faced two different cancers and is now living cancer-free. His grandfather had prostate cancer and died battling it.
Paul loves doing the climbs not only for the cause, but for the “amazing people” he meets from all over the world. He encourages anyone local who wants to find out more to contact him at his office if they want to get involved on a future climb. When Paul is not climbing, he’s busy golfing, mountain biking and skiing. He plans to continue climbing for prostate cancer as long as his body holds up.
Paul and his wife Tracy (SP?) have gathered prizes as an incentive to encourage locals to donate. For every $20 minimum donation, they will put the donor’s name in a bowl to draw for prizes. Prizes vary from restaurant gift certificates to golf packages to tickets for big name concerts including One Direction, Jason Aldean and the Foo Fighters. Local prizes include Morgan’s Bistro, Muddy Waters, the Old Settler Pub, Killer’s Cove, and Sandpiper and the Falls golf courses.
“The more you donate, the more chances you get for the draw,” explains Tracy.
To give a greater odds of winning, they have limited the number of entries for the draw. Visit Agassiz Family Chiropractic Centre now to donate and enter. Cutoff for donations is July 10. They are located in the Agassiz Community Culture & Recreational Centre. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 9-12 p.m. and 3-6:30 p.m.
Because Paul is Canadian, climb organizers have agreed that half his fundraising efforts will go to the Canadian Cancer Society, with the other half going to the Prostate Awareness Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides men and their families with information about conventional and alternative treatment options for prostate cancer as well as benign prostatic hypertrophy. to learn more about the foundation, see www.prostateawarenessfoundation.org