"Every morning when I wake up, the first thing that crosses my mind is, 'You have terminal cancer,' " David Clark tells PEOPLE. "The second is, 'What are you going to do with this day?' "
Despite his stage IV lung cancer diagnosis, the 51-year-old father of three has come up with an inspiring answer to that question. Together with his 24-year-old son, Matthew, Clark is on a mission to climb all 46 high peaks of New York's Adirondack mountain range. It's a personal project with a very public message.
"I'm hoping that it will show other people in my situation that there is hope," he explains. "The diagnosis of a non-curable disease does not mean your life is over." ... read more
DESPITE LUNG CANCER, MAN AND SON TACKLE 46 HIGH PEAKS TOGETHER
The plan, Dave Clark says, is to start anew every three weeks. Every time, it begins on a hospital bed and ends atop an Adirondack High Peak.
Clark is constrained to this timetable due to stage IV lung cancer. Despite an 80 percent chance he dies this year, he treats each three-week block of time like a new training season in pursuit of becoming a 46er. So far, he's summitted three of the 46 peaks that were originally surveyed at over 4,000 feet. ... read more
From CBS News New York, March 8, 2016
Man With Cancer Defeats Odds
From NortheastExplorer.com, March 9, 2016
New Jersey hiker Dave Clark is trying to summit all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks with his son, Matt. But unlike other hikers, Clark has stage four lung cancer.
On his website, Dave’s Climb for Lung Cancer, Clark lays out his grim prognosis. He has been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer adenocarcinoma stage IV and he is dying. He says there’s an 80 percent chance he’ll die this year, and the likelihood of him being alive in four years is 1 percent. ... continue reading
From the Asbury Park Press, March 7, 2016
The temperature stood in the single digits, with nasty winds and shifting snows, but that didn’t deter Dave Clark.
The 51-year-old Ocean County resident summited 4,100-foot Phelps Mountain with his son Matt in eight hours, completing the first leg in their quest to climb all 46 peaks of the famed Adirondack range in upstate New York.
There is a formal organization for those who complete the task: The 46ers. The club dates back to the 1930s, but Clark is different than your average mountaineer. ...continue reading
I am very excited to head to Washington, DC on May 15 – 18, 2016 for Lung Cancer Alliance’s 8th National Lung Cancer Summit.
It will be my first time attending and I will also be speaking. I look forward to sharing my personal lung cancer story with survivors and advocates from all over the country who have been touched by this disease.
I hope my words motivate the group as we take our voices to Capitol Hill to raise awareness for lung cancer. We will be talking to our Congressional leaders about increasing research funding and access to quality care.
It’s a good feeling to know that there’s a thriving lung cancer community out there and we are all committed to making this disease a public priority.