For climber John Ellison, the "crux" of his life is just beginning. If life is a 5.13, he was just served up the double-deadpoint-to-impossible-mono crux move that would stop many climbers in their tracks. In 2011, John was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer that will most likely end up taking his life. Instead of taking the woe-is-me approach, John has decided to spend his remaining time on earth funding research and cures for the disease that has now made his life so difficult. By scheduling his fundraising efforts between his frequent treatments, he has been able to start Climbers Against Cancer, one of the only legitimate organizations solely dedicated to fundraising and raising awareness about cancer entirely within the climbing community. A bit more on the organization and its massive European reach so far.
Maybe you've already seen one of his distinctive logos plastered on any number of different professional climbers, like Adam Ondra, or Sean McColl. It's pretty recognizable, especially when it's decorating the rippling abs and pecs of so many stupid strong climbers. John sells many of these shirts on his website, climbersagainstcancer.org, but for a limited time we have special Team Texas limited edition t-shirts available here at Summit, for anyone wanting to support the cause and look freakin' cool doing it.
Pretty snazzy, yeah?
The CAC has a pretty big following internationally. John is from the U.K., and he has drummed up a lot of attention for his organization at international climbing comps and events. Unfortunately many of these events take place in Europe, so visibility of his organization is pretty poor in the United States, save for Alex Puccio's smiling face occasionally sporting a CAC shirt. So there has yet to be any large American representation of the organization really ... until now. Team Texan dad and all-around hoss (just broke his ankle at the Vail Go Pro Mountain Games, that kind of hoss) Bruce Mitchell had this special-edition version of the shirt made, and is selling them here at our gyms. The shirts also sport the Team Texas logo, because they were first and foremost made for the team kids, because they have the numbers of basically a small country. But Bruce bought a batch of 200 of these shirts, and has some to spare for any local climbers wanting to sport some CAC love. Literally every cent of every shirt sold goes towards cancer research, which is much more than probably any other cancer charity could ever say.
Bruce is working entirely as a volunteer to spread the good word of CAC — he met John 3 years ago at a Youth World Championships competition and loved John's story and enthusiasm so much that he wanted to be a part of it, and had the shirts made on his own dime and he and his wife have tasked themselves with selling all 200.
If you ever see Bruce in person, he's probably the guy in any number of different CAC shirts he owns — but I swear, he's never NOT in one. Now thanks to Bruce, along with the Slovenian National Team, the German National Team and the Czech National Team, Team Texas is the newest addition to the CAC Team family.
Obviously there is no money in it for Bruce, but he is doing it for the "family." No, not the mafia. The climbing community family. Because we're still so small, that when one of our members if affected by something so awful, we're all affected.
"The climbing community is just so amazing in how it’s such a family," Bruce said. "You take a cause like this and you see how the community itself has come together, it’s so cool to see."
No Bruce, YOU'RE COOL.
For any questions on the CAC or to inquire about purchasing a shirt, email me at [email protected] I'll send everything Bruce's way!