Climbers Against Cancer is more than a charity……
It’s a colourful movement of climbers from all over the world, young and old, who want contribute to the fight against cancer.
I met John Ellison during one of the World Cups in Birmingham. I was present in Birmingham as IFSC Secretary General in the role of IFSC delegate. Although we saw each other once or twice a year at a IFSC or BMC event, our contact was special. We had a bond, my love for Yorkshire and especially for Malham Cove. At each meeting, John invited me to visit him at his home, to experience even more of beautiful Lancashire.
When my role as IFSC Secretary General came to an end we saw each other less. I was also very shocked when my friends from the Climbing Works told me that John had been diagnosed with incurable cancer. Shortly afterwards, I met John again and he told me about his ideas for Climbers Against Cancer. With unimaginable energy and an overwhelming enthusiasm John managed to build a prominent place for CAC in the climbers world. More and more the colourful CAC t-shirts were being seen at competitions, trainings, meetings etc.
Partly through my blog on Facebook; “Today’s cooking”, my chat contact with John was growing, often in the middle of the night we talked about the time I would cook for John. During one of those conversations, I suggested to John introducing him to the IFSC. At the Plenary Assembly in Paris in 2014, John was given the opportunity to introduce Climbers Against Cancer.
For me, a moment never to forget. John spoke about his incurable illness and CAC. Due to his enthusiasm and his emotional presentation, John silenced the whole room because almost everyone knows a friend or family member who have been affected by cancer. After the presentation, the IFSC decided that CAC would be their official charity. In addition, by the IFSC Plenary Assembly, John was unanimously elected as honorary member.
When John asked me what that meant, I answered with English humor; “Do not die before the Plenary Assembly 2015 in Switzerland”and in 2015 John was in Baden, Switzerland!
But unfortunately it was John’s last IFSC Plenary Assembly.
The IFSC will miss John, we all will miss him, but we also keep John’s legacy alive.
Climbers Against Cancer!