We climb for life!
Let’s prove that life is not over after being diagnosed with cancer and it is possible to fight this disease!

The Aina Muceniece Virotherapy Foundation has launched an initiative to involve oncology patients in voluntary activities, supported by doctors, in order to prove that they can still make the most of life while undergoing treatment.

For this purpose, the Aina Muceniece Virotherapy Foundation and the “Kalnu Grupa” (Mountain Group) organised a climbing expedition to the Alps from 29 July to 12 August 2017.

Participants did include existing and former virotherapy patients as well as other oncology patients who are currently fighting the disease or have already overcome cancer in different forms and stages. The trip will also involved patients who were prescribed palliative care and who didn’t have much hope before they found virotherapy.

The expedition is intended to encourage and inspire oncology patients to conquer their illness, promote their active and fearless resistance against the disease and make it easier for them to maintain their quality of life even during treatment.

The goals of the trip are as follows:
to inspire other patients;
to promote patients’ active and courageous resistance against cancer and to help them conquer it;
to prove that quality of life can still be maintained during treatment;
to provide inspiration for patients in terms of how to keep active and maintain their quality of life;
to open the door for patients encouraging them to get involved in similar activities around the world.

CLIMB for CANCER is a globally-known initiative and brand. Under the initiative, patients climb skyscrapers and fake rock walls, and conquer the world’s highest peaks. Each and every one of these events is unique and unforgettable.
We are organising the Latvian version of CLIMB for CANCER. Our goal is for at least part of the group, after some serious preparatory training, to climb the highest peak of the European Union — Mont Blanc.

We are thrilled that both current and former oncology patients are actively involved in the event and will climb Mont Blanc, showing their determination to fight their condition, share their experience and inspire others to conquer the disease.

Each patient fights their own battle and has their own story to tell. The most important thing is not to give up! While we live, we have an opportunity to do more and to accomplish something we have never dared to dream of.

In this case — to acquire basic climbing skills, reach the top of the mountain that, for some of us, might be the first one ever. It will be a challenge for all of us to reach the top of Mont Blanc (4810 m) — the highest peak of the Alps (and also in Western Europe). Moreover, we will do it by taking not the easiest route.

Kristaps Liepiņš and Kristīne Liepiņa was our instructors.
They are experienced mountain climbers who have completed difficult climbs and various expeditions in the Alps. They are also experienced trainers and expedition leaders.

Kristaps Liepiņš is a climbing instructor with more than 30 years of climbing experience. He has climbed Mont Blanc nine times, completed many difficult mountain routes, conquered very high rock walls and has also reached the peaks of many mountains.
Kristīne Liepiņa has more than five years of climbing experience. She has climbed Mont Blanc four times, made it to the top of some very high rock walls and has also climbed the world’s highest volcano, Ojos del Salado, which is 6,983 m high.

Our instructors helped us acquire the necessary skills to accomplish the goal we’ve set, which is neither physically easy nor technically simple.

Eight patients who call themselves “cancer warriors” made their way up the mountains by overcoming themselves and their illness, thus inspiring other patients and proving that you can reach the highest goals and overcome most difficult obstacles even if you have cancer in advanced and late stages, if you use considerate and efficient treatment.

The team has succeeded their goal and has reached the summit of Mont Blanc!