One Summit & Navy SEALs Join Forces to Fight Pediatric Cancer
What do Navy SEALs and children battling cancer have in common? Both groups face adversity and are challenged to overcome unimaginable obstacles. They have courage and strength, whether that be in fighting combat or chemotherapy.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) predicts that approximately 10,500 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021 and 1,190 will lose the battle. In fact, the ACS attributes cancer as “the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.”
Since 2013, One Summit has been partnering with Navy SEALs to help children who are battling cancer build resilience through experiential learning. Here’s how the organization is making a difference and how you can get involved.
One Summit From Day One
Adam La Reau began his military career as a midshipman at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). He became the first USMMA midshipman to report directly to – and successfully complete – the U.S. Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, earning himself the title of U.S. Navy SEAL.
In August 2013, he left active duty to attend Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he received his Master of Public Administration degree.
Upon graduation, La Reau founded One Summit, inspired by his experience as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and his mother, whom he had lost to cancer in 2004 while he was serving in Iraq. La Reau was inspired by both his mother’s strength and the strength of the men he had served with in the SEAL teams.
His mission was, and still is, to “even the odds” for young kids when it comes to gaining skills that can help them fight the fight of cancer.
One Summit in the Community
Similar to the training Navy SEALs endure, fighting cancer is the process of overcoming fear and completing one task at time. One Summit’s Climb for Courage program partners one pediatric cancer patient with one U.S. Navy SEAL in an experiential learning activity – specifically, rock climbing.
The curriculum focuses on teamwork, courage, goal-setting, and ultimately, reflection, where children acknowledge the skills they’ve learned and how they can apply those skills to their fight against cancer.
In addition to Climb for Courage, One Summit hosts the annual Nate Hardy WOD Challenge to honor fallen heroes and raise money to support children battling cancer. In particular, the event honors brothers Nate, a Navy SEAL, Purple Heart Recipient, and hero who lost his life in action, and Josh, who lost his battle to childhood cancer.
CrossFit Lake Effect, a fitness center in Holland, Mich., will host and participate in this year’s Nate Hardy WOD challenge. The Nate Hardy WOD challenge is one of the many ways One Summit works to bring hope, healing, and community to Navy SEALs and children battling cancer.
How You Can Get Involved With One Summit
There are numerous ways to contribute to organizations like One Summit and support service members. Here are a few ways you can get involved.
Donate and fundraise. As a nonprofit, One Summit relies on donations to support its mission and programs. Depending on your situation, you can make a one-time donation, recurring donations, or organize your own fundraiser in support of One Summit.
Attend annual events. One Summit hosts various annual events to raise money for its programs that you can participate in or donate to. You can also sponsor an event or host one of your own. See a list of events here.
Become a corporate sponsor. Your company can sponsor a particular program or event, or you can sponsor the organization’s research and storytelling initiatives.
Volunteer. Although they don’t accept volunteers for Climb for Courage, One Summit is always looking for volunteers located near its North Andover, Mass., office. Contact the organization for more information.
Share. If you’re unable to donate your time or money, the simplest way to support any organization is to spread the word by sharing One Summit’s posts and information with your community.
Support the service member in your life. To make a difference closer to home, a custom paddle or plaque from Navy Paddles is a great way to show your appreciation for the active duty service member or veteran in your life.
No child should ever have to hear the word cancer, but unfortunate data from the ACS tells us many will. One Summit’s mission is to help those children diagnosed with cancer find their inner strength and build resilience with the help and mentorship of Navy SEALs.
Follow Navy Paddles on social media to learn more about how you can support service members and organizations like One Summit.