Blog

Resources in Resilience: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

April 11, 2019
Reviewed By: Greg Doyle Greg Doyle serves as One Summit's Senior Manager of Communications & Development.  Hopes.  Dreams.  Goals.  Regardless of what we call them, we all have things we want for our lives.  Some are small.  Others are much bigger, requiring a tactical approach, sacrifice and skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and courage. Just as we all have dreams, all of us encounter obstacles as we pursue the very things we desire.  Some are small.  Others are much bigger, making our goals and hopes appear – at times – impossible.  As we learned from Dan Cnossen’s Profile in Resilience, those who choose and learn how to move forward in the face…
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The People & Purpose Behind One Summit’s 2019 Boston Marathon Team

March 25, 2019
While One Summit has been a proud partner of John Hancock in the Marathon Non-Profit Program since 2016, this year’s team is perhaps the most diverse to date. It features a mix of One Summit Mentors & Team Leaders, as well as passionate supporters with a variety of personal experiences with, and connections to, the mission; experiences and connections we’re excited to share with the broader One Summit community. Matthew Pierson, One Summit Mentor Over the past two years, I continually heard about One Summit and the opportunity to mentor the brave children, and young adults, facing one of life's greatest challenges. I finally had the chance to participate in a Climb for Courage this…
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Profiles in Resilience: Dan Cnossen

March 11, 2019
By: Greg Doyle Greg Doyle serves as One Summit's Senior Manager of Communications & Development.  “It’s really gratifying to have that one-on-one interaction with the kids, teaching them climbing skills and some valuable life lessons.” – Dan Cnossen The life lessons Dan Cnossen can teach are endless. Each one is tied to a deeply transformative experience he’s had in his own life. Some have been triumphant. Others traumatic. All have shaped his perspective on resilience and the person he is today. Lesson #1: “If you never confront the fear, you miss out on the opportunity.” – Dan Cnossen Growing up on a fifth-generation family farm in Kansas taught Dan many things. The…
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Resources in Resilience: Healing After Loss by Martha W. Hickman

February 27, 2019
Reviewed By:  Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   Some of the smallest books in my library pack the biggest wallop of insights and wisdom.  One of these is Martha W. Hickman’s Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief.  Hickman (1925 - 2015) wrote essays, fiction and children’s books, but Healing After Loss is her best-known work.  As a scholar, a church and community worker, and a mother who tragically lost her sixteen-year-old daughter, she understood the twisting trek of grief, its daily challenges and opportunities.  She is an excellent travel companion. At 4x6 inches in size, Healing After…
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Profiles in Resilience: Rachael Fussell

January 24, 2019
By: Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   As we waited for the kids from Dana-Farber to arrive by police escort, everyone at the very first Climb for Courage in 2014 was a little nervous. How quickly could these young cancer patients bond with the platoon-sized group of grizzled Navy SEALs? How fast would the mutual trust flow? Meanwhile, one person was coolly climbing to various perches on the different walls, camera in tow, checking for angles, visualizing shots of young dreamers reaching their goals. Her athleticism and composure radiated a steady confidence. That continued as the patients arrived, and soon the…
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Resources in Resilience: The Story You Need To Tell by Sandra Marinella

December 19, 2018
Photo Credit: Sandra Marinella Reviewed By: Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   Humans are hardwired for stories.  Myths, mysteries, tragedies, comedies — in poems, films, theater, books, or cartoons.  The form, medium or place matter less than the tales themselves, full of challenges, journeys, obstacles, heroes, mentors, villains, twists and turns, and finally conclusions that bring change to characters and lessons to readers and viewers. In The Story You Need To Tell, Sandra Marinella shows us how to write and rewrite our personal stories in ways that can scoop us from the craters of seismic trauma that threaten us at…
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Feeling Inspired by Those You Inspire: Climb for Courage, NYC 2018

December 4, 2018
Last month, One Summit descended on New York City for its final Climb for Courage of 2018.  While the program was identical in structure to the two climbs held prior in San Diego and Boston, the weekend – and the impact it made on the 18 Navy SEALs and 27 children who were in attendance – was unique. This was best captured after the event concluded. “You’re changing these kids’ lives,” a volunteer said.  “Well they’re changing ours,” one of the mentors responded.  This is precisely the impact Adam La Reau envisioned when he founded One Summit in 2014.  He built it with both warriors in mind.  Yet, more so than with past…
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Profiles in Resilience: Executive Director, Dianne M. Lynch

November 16, 2018
By: Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   One Summit is sharing Dianne's inspiring story to commemorate the anniversary of Jack's passing on November 18th and celebrate the Lynch's journey of resilience.  In the fifteen years after her UMass graduation, Dianne McCaffrey Lynch enjoyed a successful career and a happy life.  She made a mark in professional sports, with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, the New England Revolution, and Major League Soccer.  She met and married Ed Lynch.  Their first child Jack was a toddler with, in her words, “glacier blue eyes, an impish smile, and a rambunctious personality that kept his dad…
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Resources in Resilience: Upside – The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth

October 16, 2018
Photo Credit: Jim Rendon By: Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   In 2004, D. J. Skelton was a young second lieutenant, fresh out of West Point, leading a rifle platoon in Fallujah, Iraq, when his unit was heavily attacked. He suffered grievous wounds that eventually took an eye and significant mobility in a hand and leg. The pain was so intense, he later told ABC News, "I wanted to die right then.” But he didn’t. And despite countless, grueling surgeries, he pushed on, co-founded a charity that took wounded warriors like himself on outdoor adventure trips, returned to combat in…
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The Timmer’s Journey: Realizing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

September 7, 2018
On Sept. 8, 2018, 15 Navy SEALs will be competing in the inaugural One Summit Challenge to increase awareness and raise funds in honor of the children and families impacted by pediatric cancer. To inspire our competitors, we will be sharing three family stories leading up to the Challenge. The third is below. To support our team of Navy SEALs competing in the One Summit Challenge, click here. We are incredibly grateful for their time, hard work and determination!  “The experience really made us realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you can achieve more than you think with a good mindset, encouragement, and people that believe in you, and that these kids and families have an amazing support system.”…
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Profiles in Resilience: Salma Costa and “The Day I Got to be a Navy SEAL”

August 31, 2018
At the age of three, Salma Costa was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.  After multiple brain surgeries, nine months of chemotherapy, radiation and various trail adaptive therapies, she sadly lost her battle with the disease at just the age of seven on August 31, 2017.    One Summit is sharing the Costa’s inspiring story to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Salma’s passing and celebrate the Costa’s journey of resilience.  This letter – titled “The Day I Got to be a Navy SEAL” – was read by Salma’s mother, Fabiana at this year’s Mentor Training Dinner the night before Climb for Courage, Boston.  It describes Salma’s Climb for Courage,…
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The Tarin’s Journey: Restoring Life’s Adventure

August 28, 2018
On Sept. 8, 2018, 15 Navy SEALs will be competing in the inaugural One Summit Challenge to increase awareness and raise funds in honor of the children and families impacted by pediatric cancer. To inspire our competitors, we will be sharing three family stories leading up to the Challenge. The second is below. To support our team of Navy SEALs competing in the One Summit Challenge, click here. We are incredibly grateful for their time, hard work and determination!  “Jake’s diagnosis has changed us and how we view life forever.” - Michael Tarin On September 23, 2014, Jake Tarin was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia at the age of 12.  The two years that followed brought endless appointments at Rady Children’s Hospital,…
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The Regan’s Journey: Finding Purpose and New Perspective

August 22, 2018
On Sept. 8, 2018, 15 Navy SEALs will be competing in the inaugural One Summit Challenge to increase awareness and raise funds in honor of the children and families impacted by pediatric cancer. To inspire our competitors, we will be sharing three family stories leading up to the Challenge. The first is below. To support our team of Navy SEALs competing in the One Summit Challenge, click here. We are incredibly grateful for their time, hard work and determination!  “When your child is diagnosed with cancer, your world is forever changed.  Your outlook on life and how you approach every day is altered.” – Angela Regan This is exactly what happened to four-year-old Brogan Regan in November 2015,…
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Resources in Resilience: Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

August 20, 2018
Photo Credit:  Paulette J. Saure  By:  Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   Most Navy SEALs avoid books about Navy SEALs.  One exception is Fearless, featured in our June Resources in Resilience blog.  SEALs do, however, read widely for inspiration, and one of their favorites is Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield.  It describes the ancient Spartans and their heroic stand against the vast Persian army at Thermopylae in 480 BCE.  My son Nate recommended the book when he sent me a DVD of the movie 300, with Gerard Butler as Spartan King Leonidas. “Read the book, watch the movie,”…
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Profiles in Resilience: Kimi Schroder

July 16, 2018
By:  Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   The young girl faced an audience of hardened men, all with many deployments to war torn regions around the world.  She was the keynote speaker.  They watched her intently.  She was up to the challenge.  “Hi.  My name is Kimi and I have been fighting cancer for over seven years.  In all this time, I NEVER let cancer limit me nor do I EVER let cancer define who I am.  I am bigger and stronger than cancer and I plan on beating this and going on to accomplish great things.” It was the…
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Resources in Resilience: Adam Brown – Resilient Warrior

June 25, 2018
By:  Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   When we arrived at Norfolk airport on February 5, 2008 – the day after we learned our son Nate was killed in action – a tall, handsome, dark-haired guy introduced himself at the baggage claim area.  It was Adam Brown.  He told us he was on Nate’s SEAL team.  He had trained with Nate, was rehabbing an injury – and thus not in Iraq – and would be helping us navigate the details of Nate’s death and burial.  He was so genuine, so easygoing, and so friendly that we all felt a sense…
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Reinforcing Old and New Relationships at Climb for Courage, Boston 2018

June 20, 2018
Earlier this June, One Summit held its tenth Climb for Courage program in the place where it all started: Boston. In 2013, shortly after Adam La Reau founded One Summit, ten little warriors from The Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber participated in the first ever Climb for Courage. While One Summit has grown since then – to impacting over 230 patients and siblings and 120 Navy SEAL mentors through its Climb for Courage programs in Boston, San Diego and New York City – its commitment to the entire community of warriors and families has never been stronger. This year’s Boston program reinforced this point by uniting 27 little warriors from Tufts Floating…
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Profiles in Resilience: Founder, Adam La Reau – The Journey to One Summit

May 18, 2018
By:  Steve Hardy Steve serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   Adam La Reau has never let an obstacle stop his forward progress.  His strength lies in his heart and his will.  After graduating from high school, he entered the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a plan to go straight to the water — at the Navy SEAL’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California.  No one from the Academy had ever done that. Until Adam La Reau. You don’t make it as a SEAL if you can’t focus on meeting the challenge right in front of you, break it down into achievable steps,…
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Proving Resilience Inspires Resilience, Mile After Mile

April 26, 2018
Resilience within one can inspire resilience within another. This has always been the cornerstone of One Summit’s mission and programs, whether it be Climb for Courage or any of the organization’s many year-round community events or initiatives.  Yet, perhaps more than any other year, this year’s Boston Marathon reminded us of the incredible power of resilience and how one’s commitment to “Never Give Up” in the face of adversity can inspire others to adopt the same mindset in overcoming their own challenges. But who inspired resilience in who at this year’s Boston Marathon?  The answer to this question isn’t as simple as it may initially appear. As each of One Summit’s six…
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Meet One Summit’s 2018 Boston Marathon Team

April 5, 2018
On April 16, 2018, six courageous runners will be competing in the 2018 Boston Marathon through the John Hancock Nonprofit Marathon Program to raise awareness and funds for One Summit’s mission and programs. We are incredibly grateful for their time, effort and determination and are excited to share their motivations and inspirations with One Summit's community. Stephen Meidus Ever since I was introduced to One Summit’s mission of empowering childhood cancer patients to achieve growth through conquering adversity, I could not help but be drawn into their fight. I wanted to serve them in whatever way possible. The Boston Marathon presented me with the opportunity to use my abilities in order to raise as much…
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Inspiring Stories from Climb for Courage, San Diego 2018

March 29, 2018
Thirty kids and twenty-five Navy SEALs descended on Vertical Hold Rock Climbing Gym earlier this month for Climb for Courage, San Diego. Although they varied in age and life experience, they all shared one commonality. The refusal to give up. Ever.  For the kids, their battle comes in the form of pediatric cancer. Whether a patient or sibling, they’ve been forced to face adversity at a young age. And for their Navy SEAL mentors, facing adversity is part of the job. For precisely this reason, One Summit united these like-minded warriors at Climb for Courage, San Diego. Throughout the day, all participants were encouraged to set goals, work as a team and overcome challenges,…
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Profiles in Resilience: The Story of Nate and Josh Hardy

March 7, 2018
By:  Steve Hardy Steve Hardy serves on One Summit's Board of Directors.  He and his wife Donna live in Durham, NH.   January 6, 2018 marked twenty-five years since our oldest son Josh died of brain cancer.  Donna and I drove to Ogunquit, Maine and walked the Marginal Way, one of his favorite places.  Less than a month later we were at Arlington National Cemetery where we visited his brother Nate’s grave and observed the 10th anniversary of his death in action during a Navy SEAL raid on a suicide bomb cell in Iraq.  The pain of these losses never leaves and at any moment it can crash over us like the big waves…
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Jimmy’s Impactful Experience

June 9, 2017
I’d like to express to you and the rest of the  “One Summit” crew how grateful I am for the opportunity to share in the “events” associated with your organization.  I do mean events.  When I was invited to participate in the climbing event, sponsored by One Summit, and I was matched up with Connor Heffler, I was not really prepared for what an impact that would have on my life.  Connor attended the climbing event with his twin “Evan” and his cousin “DJ.”  As a retired, and combat wounded Navy SEAL, I thought I had experienced quite a bit of adversity.  When I met Connor and learned of his trials with cancer, I was immediately…
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Against All Odds: The Story of an Unbreakable Bond Between a Pediatric Cancer Patient and his Navy SEAL Mentor

November 17, 2016
What do childhood cancer patients and Navy SEALs have in common? Resilience? Grit? Tenacity? A sum of all these traits unifies our like-minded warriors in a special and transformational companionship. Although the battlefields for these big and little warriors may differ, the heroism and perseverance remain the same. Pediatric cancer is a uniquely devastating war because the battlefield is over the body of a child. It is undoubtedly an unfair fight. However, in bringing these two warriors together we are able to even the odds in the fight against childhood cancer and provide impactful relationships that our heroes can lean on for strength and support. One of our bravest little warriors, Connor,…
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Brian Pierce: Competing in the Boston Marathon, Former Navy Seal Overcomes Adversity and Inspires Childhood Cancer Patients to “Never Give Up”

November 16, 2016
This week we are highlighting one of our beloved Navy SEAL mentors, Brian Pierce. Brian began mentoring with One Summit in November of 2014 at our second Climb For Courage event after he learned about One Summit through a fellow SEAL. Brian knew he could help our little warriors battling cancer by sharing his own experiences and sending them the message that physical limitations are not permanent obstacles. He said, “I hope the kids realize to never give up. Just because something bad happened to you doesn’t mean you look down on yourself, you keep moving forward and don’t give up. Yes, you have limitations, but you learn to adjust to those…
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Climb for Courage

November 14, 2016
Waiting in the lobby, twenty-one children and their parents listen to Adam La Reau, Founder of One Summit, welcome them to the Climb for Courage at Central Rock Gym in Watertown.  The Climb for Courage event marks the beginning of One Summit’s mentorship program; at this event, children fighting cancer are paired with their U.S. Navy SEAL mentor for a day of indoor rock-climbing.   As the children climb the stairs, thunderous clapping erupts.  The children start their walk through a tunnel of Navy SEALs, getting high-fives, looking nervous yet excited for their adventure.  Gazing up at the tall rock-walls that surround them, the children wait as Adam pairs them up one…
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Children with Cancer find like-minded companionship is U.S. Navy SEALs

November 13, 2016
Think back to when you were a teenager.  You have your whole life ahead of you.  Along your clear, wide trail through the forest of life you encounter a mountain - you can’t go around this mountain; you are standing at the bottom looking straight up at the peak.  You’ve never climbed a mountain before, unsure of where to start, routes to take, or necessary skills to get to the summit. Now imagine that mountain is cancer. It’s a crippling disease that challenges even the most experienced climbers and evokes feelings of fear, uncertainty and vulnerability.  In the U.S., almost 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every…
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