In 1997, Lynn Lippert was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. She underwent a lumpectomy, radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Then, just three years later, Lynn's doctor discovered a tumor in her other breast.
She opted for a double mastectomy to remove the tumor and reduce the risk of future cancer. The strategy was effective, and Lynn and her partner, Sal Jepson, celebrated by traveling the world and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
"Almost a year to the day from my last chemo treatment, we were standing on the summit," Lynn says. "That was a very sweet and emotional moment. Coming down, I felt like I was getting on with my life."
Unfortunately, her battle wasn't over. In 2009, Lynn felt pain in her pelvis — the original cancer had metastasized in her bones. Lynn caught it early enough to send it into remission.
Climbing for a cure
Lynn now celebrates her three-time survival by making contributions to cancer research. She's summited dozens of mountains, 16 of them through Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Climb to Fight Breast Cancer®.
Lynn completed her first Climb to Fight Breast Cancer peak in 2005 and climbed her most recent one — Mt. Olympus in Washington State — in August 2013 on her 71st birthday. She has used the climbs to raise more than $200,000 for Fred Hutch. Additionally, in 2012 Lynn and Sal established an endowment to support breast cancer research at Fred Hutch during their lifetimes. As Legacy Partners in Research , they have also made provisions to provide additional support to their endowment in their estate plans.
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"We have a vested interest in finding a cure and are impressed and intrigued with the Hutch's early stage discovery projects, which need funding but aren't quite ready for large federal grants," Sal says. "We truly believe one of the brilliant researchers at Fred Hutch will be the one to make a breakthrough and find a cure."
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Making your mark
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