climbing cancer mountain


fILM From Mark Resources Donate




A California cyclist, stunned with a mid-life cancer diagnosis, trusts in cancer research to keep rolling on life’s most unpredictable ride.


Team Crafty

The Coach


Podcast: A Conversation with Mark




Since 2017, I have been surviving Stage IV colorectal and liver cancer with love from my family and friends (Team Crafty!), care from my doctors (including three Conquer Cancer researchers), and treatments made possible by decades of cancer research (more than 50 rounds of chemo – and counting; 25 rounds of radiation; four surgeries; one immunotherapy clinical trial).

Living with cancer is the hardest thing I have ever done. My doctors and nurses at the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Cancer Center call me “a walking miracle and the future of medicine.” I often claim to be the luckiest patient alive; I am fortunate to have access to world-class care and the unyielding support of devoted family and friends. Still, the constant peaks and valleys I face on Cancer Mountain are, at times, excruciating.


Cancer Mountain is the sometimes lonely, often isolating, always awe-inspiring place on which patients like me abruptly find themselves after a diagnosis. Mountain climbs, in general, are not free from risk, and no one trains to climb Cancer Mountain. When the elements are rough, and they will be, you may feel like you cannot keep pushing toward a plateau. No matter your prognosis, worry and fear will cloud your views, but I promise you if you look for the light (for me it is usually bright orange...) it will shine on you in the darkest valleys, renewing your spirit and delivering some hope.


When not in treatment, I have made much of my Cancer Mountain climb on a bike – nearly 5,000 miles pedaled since diagnosis. I was training for a cycling event when undeniable symptoms finally prompted me to schedule a long overdue colonoscopy. Now I use those events to remind other riders to get screened and to raise money for cancer research, so my fellow patients and I can keep rolling towards the next big breakthrough.

I am grateful to Conquer Cancer donors who support the work of doctors around the world, believing as I do that accelerating cancer research will help summit patients everywhere to the pinnacle of Cancer Mountain. - MC





Here are some of my favorite Blog posts and advice for anyone going through a cancer diagnosis:

10 Lessons I've Learned On Cancer Mountain ... And "Orange Power" Needed For Ukraine - Team Crafty Conquers Cancer

Week #217 - My Message To The Newly Diagnosed, There's Always Hope - Team Crafty Conquers Cancer

Week #100 - by guest author Mady Crafts - Team Crafty Conquers Cancer

Get educated. Get screened. Support cancer research. Keep rollin'! - Team Crafty Conquers Cancer


About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer begins when healthy cells in the lining of the colon or rectum change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread. These changes usually take years to develop. Both genetic and environmental factors can cause the changes. However, when a person has an uncommon inherited syndrome (see Risk Factors and Prevention), changes can occur in months or years.


If you would like more of an introduction, explore these related items. Please note that these links will take you to other sections on Cancer.Net:

  • ASCO Answers Fact Sheet: Read a 1-page fact sheet that offers an introduction to this type of cancer. This free fact sheet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.

  • ASCO Answers Guide: Get this free 44-page booklet that better helps you better understand this disease and treatment options. The booklet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.

  • Cancer.Net Blog: Read an ASCO expert’s opinion about what newly diagnosed patients should know about colorectal cancer.

  • Cancer.Net Patient Education VideoView a short video led by an ASCO expert in colorectal cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.

  • Cancer.Net En Español: Read about colorectal cancer in Spanish. Infórmase sobre cáncer colorrectal en español.







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