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Mountain Climbing for Breast Cancer

Jan 13, 2015 12:59PM ● By Stefanie Montalto
Jackson Blum and Alex Roth, both seniors at Yale University, have undertaken an incredible journey for a great cause. Both young men have mothers who are breast cancer survivors. In their honor, Jackson and Alex have pledged to reach the summit of Pico de Orizaba, the highest peak in Mexico and third highest in North America, to raise breast cancer awareness and give back to the research centers that treated their mothers.

Jackson and Alex are both experienced mountaineers, wilderness-certified EMTs, brothers of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, and full-time students at Yale University. Roth is president of Yale Outdoors and an aspiring Peace Corps volunteer and wilderness medicine doctor, while Jackson supervises urban forestry projects in New Haven, Connecticut, and is an aspiring high school science teacher.

Their journey began December 26, 2014 with a flight from Boston, Massachusetts, to Mexico City, Mexico. From there, they continued on by bus to Puebla, home of La Malinche and Iztaccihuatl, two mountains they would climb to acclimate their bodies to the dwindling oxygen supply they would face climbing Pico de Orizaba. La Malinche stands at 14,640 feet and Iztaccihuatl at 17,159 feet, while Pico de Orizaba stands at a monstrous 18,490 feet! The two started their ascent of Orizaba on New Year’s Day and planned to reach the summit by January 4, 2015. If you want to follow their journey pictorially, check out their Instagram pages (@alexsroth and @jackson.blum).

The men used to raise money to fund their trip and to donate to breast cancer research. The charities they are donating to include Sharsheret (a nonprofit organization supporting Jewish women facing breast cancer), Dartmouth Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center (where Jackson’s mother was treated), and Indiana University’s Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center (where Alex’s mother was treated). Each organization will receive a third of the total amount raised above the amount needed to fund the trip. Currently, Jackson and Alex have reached an amazing $5,645, just shy of their goal of $6,400. If you’d like to learn more or make a donation, head to their page.


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