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Climbing Gives A Reason To Live

By Ross Bates

Ever since I was a kid, I was into the outdoors lifestyle, I loved everything from kayaking to hiking. Then when I turned into adulthood, I met sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, leaving all of it behind and letting my body go to waste. And then, when I was 27/28, the symptoms started and I was eventually diagnosed with stage 2 rectal cancer, on the verge of stage 3. Needless to say, I felt pretty lost at that time, not knowing what to do. After a course of chemo and radiotherapies, followed by major surgery to remove 3 organs, I had the cancer fully removed and was left with a permanent combined ostomy bag for life. Problem solved, right? My life had been saved, but I sunk further into depression, my life felt like a hollow shell with nothing to show for it. Until I turned 31, when I started climbing that is. Getting involved in all aspects of climbing has given me passion in life once again, given me goals to work towards, has made me physically and mentally fit, quite simply giving me a reason to live. 34 now and now successfully 6 years in remission. I’ve got a lot of climbing to catch up on!

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Most people have been affected by cancer in one way or another. Whether it’s through a family or friend, or even a personal battle. Share your story here and let others know they’re not alone in the climb against cancer.


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