Cancer opens many doors—one of the most important is the door to your heart. — Greg Anderson

The quote above is absolutely true and together we can open a door of hope to countless people. This May as I begin my accent up Mt. Everest, I’ll be thinking about a lot of things: my gear, my mountain guides, the weather, the sheer size of the mountain, my training, my family and friends, and most of all—the reason why I’m doing this. I want to push the envelope further than I ever have and hopefully to a place of cancer prevention and early detection.

As I have talked with people over the last few weeks, I have learned that there are several keys to winning the battle against cancer. The best way is the obvious way: practice cancer prevention and encourage others to do the same. Get regular checkups, exercise, eat healthy, and STOP thinking: “Cancer will never happen to me.” I pray it doesn’t, but I have watched friends and loved ones battle this disease.

And the truth is: People get cancer, but you can lessen your chances of having a later stage cancer through prevention and screenings. As one nurse told me recently, “It no longer has to be a ‘death sentence.'” If your doctor does find cancer, early detection is often a key to survival.  

Today, screening for breast cancer along with other forms of cancer should be a top priority. But far too many people, fail to keep their doctor’s appointments or they just don’t set one up.

You can imagine that as I work to raise a million dollars to fund a new mobile health unit for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), early detection is a major priority. This unit will not only be used for screenings but also to educate people, who live in rural areas of South Carolina, and who do not have easy access to a medical facility.

Prevention, education, and a cure begins when you give! Every dollar raised by my Everyday Everest campaign goes toward battling cancer at the “grass-roots” level! So, I’m asking you to take a few moments and take my healthcare pledge—get an exam, screening, and join me as I climb to defeat cancer!

Here are some Perfect Day tips that could help you in your quest to stay cancer free.

Keep your regular doctor’s appointments. Putting these off will NOT prevent cancer or any other disease. Regular checkups can take care of a problem before it begins. Be persistent. If you don’t feel like your doctor is hearing you, get a second opinion.

20 minutes of walking each day changes the way you feel and has plenty of health benefits! Take a shorter lunch and walk somewhere. Get away from your desk and you will lose that slumped over feeling! Walk during your break time. In fact, take a break time! Many of my Perfect Day clients once believed that the way to get through life was to push every waking minute! They now know and understand that a Perfect Day includes moments set aside for yourself.

Eat healthy—fruits and veggies, whole grains, while avoiding refined sugars. Steer clear of foods that you know will defeat you in the end. Drink plenty of water—the very essence of life! Be strong and hydrated!

• Be persistent. Ingrid Bergman said, “Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” Regardless of the battles and losses you face in this life, every day you get up and walk forward believing there is more to this world than defeat and sorrow is a victory for you. Don’t ever stop believing.

Be fully there with others. Perfect Day “lifestylers” know what it means to close the door on work at the end of the day. Some of the best medicine you can take is a huge dose of love from being with your family, friends, and people who care about you.

And don’t worry so much about what to say to someone, who is battling cancer. That person knows your struggle for the right words. Just be there. If needed, be a silent support—someone who is willing to reach out and touch others with your heart, your hand, your hugs and most of all your love and understanding.

Remember: You beat cancer with small deliberate steps every day. Let’s take the first one together through giving. Support Cancer Prevention! #EE #EverydayEverest