Montana This Morning

Dec 27, 2010 9:06 AM by Allyson Weller (KPAX News)

Missoula cancer survivor ready to climb again

MISSOULA - A local cancer survivor is pushing her body to the limit once again in the annual Climb Against the Odds and this time around, Ann Maechtlen is hoping to raise $13,000 to go towards cancer prevention.

"Most of the cancers that are around, and it's very prevalent, are in people who don't have any genetic link, so there has got to be other factors that are causing so many people to get cancer, and I believe it's the chemicals in our environment," Maechtlen told us in an interview.

Ann Maechtlen is climbing Mount Shasta in California to help raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund. "I really want to raise awareness and help people make better choices and stay safe and healthy."

She has made the over 14,000 foot climb in 2008 only seven months after finishing treatment herself.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever done. My body wasn't ready to climb a mountain, so it was really hard, and then you know the six months of training and fundraising, and it was a huge thing, but the best thing I've ever done I'd say," Maechtlen told us.

Ann has now decided to make the climb again, "I turned 50 in July and I'm healthy, and I feel good."

Local physical therapist Ragna Thorne-Thomsen went to Mount Shasta for the climb last year, but for the first time in 10 years, weather stopped anyone from reaching the summit.

Ann joined Ragna in California to help with the climb and said it made her want to do it again.

"There is a lot of rituals and a lot of sharing and...it's a very bonding experience. I think for people who are able, even if they don't climb a mountain, there's plenty of other things you can do, get involved, anything to make the world a better place, said Maechtlen.

Learn more about Ann's climb and help her reach her goal by clicking here.

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