Students to rope up for cancer research |

Students to rope up for cancer research

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS- A group of students and a local activist are teaming up to help in the fight against ovarian cancer and to remember a teacher’s aide killed by the disease.

A group of Yampah Mountain High School students will travel to Salt Lake City this week to participate in the HERA Ovarian Cancer Climb for Life, which is organized by Sean Patrick of Carbondale.

“I really want to raise money for the ovarian cancer people,” said Yampah High School sophomore Brandy Logan.

“They wanted to make a difference and we’re just really stoked to have their energy out there,” said Patrick of the eight Yampah students who will go to Salt Lake. “It’s a pretty special group of kids and chaperones that want to do this.”

The trip to Salt Lake is a special one for Yampah Mountain High School.

In July, Sandy Richardson, a teacher’s aide at Yampah, died of ovarian cancer at age 43.

“She’ll appreciate this a lot,” said Jeff Richardson, Sandy’s son, who attended Yampah. “She was very outdoorsy.”

“I knew something was going to go on, but I didn’t think it was going to be as big as this,” he said, noting that a trip to Salt Lake is a big commitment.

Though some of the eight students on the trip didn’t have the chance to meet Sandy Richardson, some knew her well.

“She was my best friend’s mom,” said Matt Russell, 20, a graduate of Yampah who is also making the trip to Salt Lake. Russell said he knew Richardson for eight years.

“I’m just kind of doing my part, since I knew her really well,” he said.

The Ovarian Cancer Climb for Life gathers climbers from around the world to raise funds for ovarian cancer research by climbing, said Patrick.

Patrick, an ovarian cancer survivor, organized the climb for the first time last year.

Climbers solicit donations from friends, family, and businesses. Donors can give a set donation, or donate a certain amount based on the number of feet a climber climbs.

For students who didn’t know Richardson well, the trip to Salt Lake is still worthwhile.

“It is a chance to go climb with some of the people you read about,” said junior Kyle Fredendall. “If I can help somebody out in the process, I might as well.”

“We have the top women climbers in the world coming to the event,” said Patrick.

Nancy Feagin, Lisa Gnade and Bobbie Bensman are among the professional climbers who have committed to go to Salt Lake, she said.

Patrick started the Climb For Life to combine her passion for climbing with her passion for raising awareness about ovarian cancer.

“It affects all women of all ages and all races, and it’s not a silent killer,” she said of the disease, which many people think has no symptoms until it’s too late.

Research has shown that the disease does have symptoms, though they are mainly gastrointestinal and mistaken for something else, said Patrick. “It is not silent. It does not have to kill.”

Information and donations: Sean Patrick, 948-7360, or

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 535

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.