Dare to Dream Annapurna Expedition Raises Funds for Ovarian Cancer

Tonya Riggs of Stonewear Designs and high-altitude filmmaker Brad Clement, will lead the Dare to Dream expedition to Annapurna. The expedition will raise awareness of and funds for ovarian cancer research.

From Sept. 10–Nov. 5, 2008, Tonya Riggs, 44, director of business development for Stonewear Designs and high-altitude filmmaker Brad Clement, 36, both of Boulder, Colorado, will lead the Dare to Dream expedition to Annapurna in the Nepalese Himalayas. The expedition will raise awareness of and funds for ovarian cancer research by garnering international attention based on the dramatic, historic nature of the climb and through a speaking tour, production of a documentary, a fundraising trek to Annapurna base camp and sales of Dare to Dream clothing available at www.daretodream2008.com.

Riggs and Clement will be doing a national speaking tour at schools, businesses and other organizations pre- and post-expedition. Discussions will embrace the Dare to Dream concept, inspiring people to overcome obstacles and to live the life they dream of, while raising awareness of ovarian cancer.

The expedition will have many facets of media content that focus on the expedition and ovarian cancer. Media content includes high-definition video footage to be edited into a documentary film for broadcast; voice, photo and video updates live from the mountain; and a photo record of the expedition.

Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
Riggs and Clement are holding a trek to Annapurna base camp Oct. 9–24, 2008. Registration is $3,100 per person, and there is a fundraising minimum of $3,000 for the HERA Foundation. The trek is 16 days long, is not technically demanding and is open to outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to experts.

Beginning in the capital city of Kathmandu, participants will fly to the lakeside town of Pokhora—Nepal's second largest city. The hike begins from Pokhora and travels through lowland forests, magnificently terraced agricultural areas and into the high mountains of the famed Annapurna Sanctuary. Very few outsiders travel to the north side of Annapurna, and this is truly a remote and beautiful area, surrounded by the world's tallest mountains. Along the way, participants stay in local villages and enjoy the hospitality of the Nepalese people.

Clement and Riggs recently summitted Mt. Everest, an event that made Riggs one of fewer than 30 U.S. women to accomplish such a feat. The 10th highest mountain on Earth, Annapurna is considered to be the most complex and challenging of the world's high-altitude peaks. To date, fewer than 150 people worldwide have summitted Annapurna, including just six women and only three Americans.

“The odds of reaching the top of Everest and returning alive are far greater than the odds of surviving ovarian cancer,” says Riggs, whose close friend Sean Patrick founded the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation. “Mt. Everest may be the highest mountain in the world, but watching Sean confront ovarian cancer, I realize there are far greater challenges. I want to make my next climbing expeditions bigger than just me. I want to inspire and help people. I want to create lasting philanthropic impact through my future mountaineering projects,” she says.

Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among women's reproductive cancers and is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. In 2004, ovarian cancer deaths increased by 20 percent. Raising awareness is essential; when ovarian cancer is caught early—before it spreads outside the ovaries—90 percent of women survive five years. Yet only 24 percent of ovarian cancers are caught early; for these women their five-year survival is less than 25 percent.

About Dare to Dream
Reaching the top of Annapurna will take innovative research, amazing inner strength, financial resources and a strong sense of team—the same components needed to fight ovarian cancer. The expedition Dare to Dream 2008 will be working closely with HERA to help raise awareness for ovarian cancer and inspire women and men to overcome obstacles. To learn more about the expedition and how you can become involved, visit www.daretodream2008.com.

About HERA
The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, partners and girlfriends from ovarian cancer by empowering women to take control of their health, empowering the medical community to find new directions in ovarian cancer research and empowering communities to provide support. For more information visit www.herafoundation.org. To schedule an interview with HERA Foundation founder Sean Patrick, please call 970.948.7360.