Taking the Climb to a whole new level

December 18, 2012


One of YACC’s earliest events was the Climb on Signal Hill in St. John’s, NL. The event has morphed into a fixture of the annual Survivor Conference and we no longer “climb” with the general public, but that doesn’t mean people have forgotten about it.

Samantha Phelan and Erin Brennan are taking the event to Tanzania as they embark on their event, Seven for Seven: Conquering Kilimanjaro, a seven-day adventure dedicated to helping the 7,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer each year in Canada.

Both women are adventurers who had personal goals attached to this climb, but that wasn’t enough for them. “Erin and I believed that this climb could mean so much more if we were doing it to try and garner awareness for a cause that hits close to home for both of us,” said Phelan.

Phelan’s sister was involved with YACC (then RealTime Cancer) when she was in high school in St. John’s. They have kept up with the organization since then and it was an easy decision for them to choose it as the beneficiary of this latest adventure.


“[Erin and I] liked how YACC was locally created and then expanded nationally. We also felt that YACC’s overall mission is very unique and targets an audience that is often underexposed in the difficulties they may face when becoming diagnosed. It was important for us to bring awareness to that,” said Phelan.

This event isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Phelan says she is an avid hiker, but this is her first mountain climb. Brennan has a little more experience and conquered Peru’s Machu Picchu in four days. They will travel with a group of other climbers led by a trained guide.

The two travellers will start their climb on December 29 and plan to be making their final ascent to the summit on January 4, 2013 around 6 a.m.

In addition to raising $2,000 to help young adults deal with issues related to cancer, Phelan says their goal is to make it to the top.

“We’ve heard horror stories about people who haven’t been able to summit and we really don’t want to get ahead of ourselves with more intricate goals or ambitions.  Like those who we are climbing this mountain for, we know that there will be a big obstacle to overcome but it’s no use getting caught up in everything else that comes with the obstacle,” she said.

“We just want to take it one day at a time and take comfort in that fact that each day we are getting closer and closer to conquering it.”

Visit the Seven for Seven: Conquering Kilimanjaro fundraising website to learn more or to make an online donation.

More about Samantha and Erin

imageSamantha Phelan is a recent commerce graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland. A restless adventurer, she has lived and travelled throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and most recently, South America. Through the climb she hopes to raise awareness for Young Adult Cancer Canada and prove that anyone, anywhere can overcome any obstacle with the proper mindset; whether that be a 20,000 foot mountain or a recent diagnosis of cancer. To read more about Samantha, you can visit her personal blog, Modern Day Marco.


Erin Brennan has a wish to successfully climb one of the seven summits of the world. This climb started out as a 35th birthday adventure, however, she shortly realized that there are people in their 30s dealing with cancer and celebrating life, not just their birthdays. Erin thrives on adventure and challenges and believes having a positive attitude will conquer so much. Previous adventure travel has included Europe, North America, and South America. Cancer touches young and old in all different forms and she hopes to bring awareness to Young Adult Cancer at home in NL. She believes that the world has endless opportunities; a donation to help people deal with cancer gives forever!

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