I grew up in Minnesota. It's pretty, but flat. No real mountains to speak of, but cliffs big enough to climb and that was all I needed. Since then, climbing has taken me to many amazing places and given me the opportunity to explore this beautiful world we live in. There are tons of people and organizations out there who make it their mission to support the rest of us in our outdoor endeavors, so this list is just but a few. Feel free to reach out if you know of or are a part of other organizations doing great things! Especially if you need help documenting the grand things you're doing! I always want to learn more about the transformative work people are up to every day!

Mountains & Water:

American Alpine Club: www.americanalpineclub.org

Access Fund: www.accessfund.org

American Packrafting Association: www.packraft.org

Randolph Mountain Club: www.randolphmountainclub.org

When I was thirty, I was surprised to be sitting across the desk from a gastroenterologist in his office. I was even more surprised when he told me I had colon cancer. After I had a CT scan and some blood work done, surgery was scheduled. A partial colectomy, over a month spent recovering, and the amazingly lucky news I wouldn't need chemotherapy or radiation left me with a bit of a different perspective on things.  It's hard to take my health for granted now. It's hard to take my time, my relationships and my family for granted. I want to acknowledge, like above, the folks out there in this world who have made it their mission to support those of us going through something like cancer. Regardless of outcome, because some of us are luckier than others for reasons I can't explain, being told, "You have cancer," is something no one is ever prepared to hear.  Check out the selfless things these organizations are doing!

Cancer Advocacy and Support:

First Descents: firstdescents.org

Colon Club: colonclub.com

Fight Colorectal Cancer: www.fightcolorectalcancer.org