08/24/2011 12:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

We Choose to Climb Series 1

Many of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook may have heard of a unique event this September. A group of amazing women have take on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in celebration of life and survival. I, myself, have so much to celebrate and be grateful for. I want to share with you their amazing stories of hope, passion, and appreciation for life beyond the barriers that have been presented to them.

Profile: Becky Pope


Why are you climbing?
In October 2008, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer (late stage) and had a recurrence in September 2010. I finished chemo for the second time in January 2011. I am climbing to celebrate with such a grateful heart that I can! There are many who cannot climb or whose "mountains" have overcome them. I am climbing in memory of those who have lost their battle with cancer; I am climbing for those in treatment; I am climbing for those who lack courage, for those who have lost hope and for those who lack faith. I am climbing to bring awareness about ovarian cancer; I am climbing to be an inspiration, to bring hope and encouragement!

What is your training regimen?
Five to six days a week: strength training: legs, arms, shoulders, back; cardio, and endurance -- lots of walking. I currently have a stress fracture in my left foot probably due in part to a weakening of my bones from steroids (used with chemo) and overcompensation from plantar fascitis, so I am swimming and riding the spin bike with no tension and modifying my strength training.

The hardest part of my training program is the cardio due to my severe hot flashes and the heat, along with having just completed chemo six months ago. I have not gotten back to my fitness level before cancer and it is hard for me to be the last or slowest member of the group -- that's the mental challenge for me and am learning to be grateful for where I am!

How has your life changed since committing to the climb?
I think I feel a greater sense of responsibility... to do this climb not just for myself but for others. My life is busier as I commit myself to the workouts and team. I am fitter. I realize even more so how blessed I am!

I myself have been training and graciously thank Fitness Formula Clubs of Chicago for extending a training area and their expertise.