Meet Climb Hero: Griffin Wallace

Griffin-crossing-the-finish-line

Meet Climb Hero: Griffin Wallace

Saturday, May 7, 2016, the 10th anniversary of Climb for Cancer, was a special day for many of our climbers. For Griffin Wallace, who celebrated his 19th birthday that day, the 2016 Climb for Cancer meant significantly more as he was in the fight of his life against cancer.

At 10AM a sea of blue shirts, team @GriffyWallace, ascended the stairs of Tim Hortons Field; climbing amongst the hundred plus blue shirts was a smiling Griffin. Griffin courageously led his team up and down the stairs and crossed the finish line to a roar of applause, a few victorious tears from fellow climbers, and alongside CFL great Chad Owens.

On his 19th birthday, the 10th anniversary of Climb for Cancer, Griffin inspired not only his family and friends, but the entire Hamilton community to truly believe that together we can move mountains. We sat down with our Climb hero Griffin to learn about his 2016 Climb for Cancer experience, his courageous battle with cancer, and what his now cancer-free future holds for him.

Q: You were diagnosed with cancer in August 2015, you received treatment at Juravinski and now, just over a year later, you are triumphantly cancer free! Congratulations! As with any situation in life, the good times were met with bad times; what advice would you give to anyone going through a similar diagnosis/journey?

A: This was ultimately the scariest time of my life. Firstly, my thoughts are with anyone dealing with this horrible disease. With that being said, my biggest piece of advice to anyone else going through this s to take things one step at a time. The process can be very overwhelming, but by taking things one day, one appointment, one hospital visit at a time makes it a little more manageable. Take all the small victories in stride and, as hard as it sounds, allow yourself to breath.

Q: Last year the Climb fell on your birthday, and you were able to come out with over a hundred of your friends and family who formed Team @GriffyWallace! What was that experience like?

A: This was an experience I can’t put into words! To be able to not only make it to the event, but to have that many close supporters was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Seeing everyone at the climb made me really acknowledge the number of people that cared and it was all of these close family members/friends who made it possible for me to keep fighting.

Q: Do you have a favourite moment from the 2016 climb? (P.S. The photo on the left was my favourite moment)

A: This memory [crossing the finish line] was definitely a good one! Walking across the finish line with Chad Owens is a Hamiltonians dream. But, my favourite moment would have to be at the very beginning of the climb, seeing everyone running up the stairs at once. It was this moment when I realized the number of people who came out to not only support me, but run for a great cause.

Q: If you had to give someone a reason to participate in the 2017 Climb for Cancer, what would you say?

A: I would ask them one question: Why not? It’s a fun event that goes towards a great cause! Not to mention you’ll be with some of your closest family and friends enjoying some quality exercise.

Q: So, what is next for Griffin Wallace? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Over the past year I’ve realized that fitness is my ultimate passion. Ideally, I will be doing something relating fitness and business together where I have the ability to help others. If I am able to make a living off of doing what I love, I’ll consider that a success!

Griffin is one of thousands of patients who go through the Oncology and Hematology Units at Juravinski every year. Climb for Cancer and the funds collected by our participants and sponsors, have been a huge part of ensuring that the facilities and equipment that patients, like Griffin, need are there when they need them the most. Keep climbing and step in front of cancer.

Join Griffin on May 13th 2017 at Tim Hortons Field for the 11th Annual Climb for Cancer. Registration is NOW open, register here.

Follow Griffin on Instagram (@GWallaceFitness) and don’t forget to follow Climb for Cancer on all our social media networks.

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Hamilton's Annual Fundraiser to Support Cancer Research at The Juravinski Cancer Centre