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Cancer Survivors Climb Mount Fuji

August 23, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ More than 200 U.S. and Japanese cancer patients reached the summit of Japan’s Mount Fuji on Tuesday, completing an arduous climb aimed at inspiring themselves to overcome the illness.

The climb up the 12,460-foot mountain, Japan’s tallest, was proposed by Andrea Martin, founder of the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, and Dr. Jinroh Itami, a Japanese cancer specialist who endorses mountain climbing as a way to motivate patients to fight the disease.

The climb, which began Monday, was the third for the Breast Cancer Fund. In 1996, 17 patients climbed 23,000-foot Aconcagua in Argentina, and five breast cancer survivors climbed Alaska’s 20,400-foot Mount McKinley.

Martin, a breast cancer survivor, said the climb was also aimed at bringing attention to the seriousness of breast cancer.

Each U.S. team member raised from $5,000 to $30,000 for research, education, and patient support.

In Japan, some 30,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, Kimiko Goldberg, a patient and leader of a Japanese support group, told reporters before the climb.

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