Twelve months ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His name is John Ellison. I’ve known John ever since I got involved with coaching and managing the GB Climbing Teams back in 2007; it’s hard not to know him, as he’s always there! He has given tirelessly to climbing and to competition climbing over the years and it was a massive shock when he told us all about his illness. It seemed impossible that such an amazing person could have anything negative happen to them. I’d always kind of assumed that the perma-grim on his face was some kind of lucky charm.
Photo: John in his natural environment…. you guess the answer!
His reaction to this news though, has been something that has re-affirmed why he always looks so happy. Instead of running away from the black news and devastation he has ploughed an incredible amount of energy into creating a new organisation called “Climbers Against Cancer.” He recognised that climbing and climbers are “special in that no matter what the creed or colour, there is a natural desire to support each other and encourage one another to succeed.” He would like climbers to come together as a family of friends who will support John in his cause to raise awareness and funds for research.
As you may have noticed through Facebook and Twitter already, there are some big wad supporters already! John seems to have a strange ability to chat up pretty much any climber, get them in a t-shirt and then snap the photo for the cause! I even saw him with his arm round Chris Sharma and Tom Bolger’s waist the other day….. John, you naughty boy.
So what can you do to help share the love?
1. Get on Facebook and “like” the official CAC page
2. Share any photos of CAC supporters.
3. Visit the CAC website in about 2 weeks to buy yourself a supporting t-shirt!
4. In the meantime I know you can buy CAC t-shirts from The Climbing Works
5. Alternatively, you can always get involved with Cancer Research UK
So, just remember if John can pick himself up after this situation has landed on his doorstep then we as climbers are more than capable of getting off our arses to help in some way. I doesn’t have to be money – even spreading the word and helping John in his mission will be much appreciated.
Even big wad photographer and all-round nice guy Lukasz Warzecha gave up his studio and time to get John surrounded by 2 of the loveliest ladies in comp climbing, 1 ice climber with massive biceps and 2 jokers with big Friends.
Spread the love!