ADVISOR MARK BARRON PREPARES TO CLIMB KILAMANJARO
Nectar News Editor Nicole Johnson sat down with retired BMI music industry professional Mark Barron to discuss his upcoming climb of Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma. Mark is committed to climb the tallest peak in Africa in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Team In Training (TNT), a non profit that helps participants embark on one of the most iconic endurance challenges in the world, while raising money to pioneer new breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Team In Training prepares participants for race day with experienced coaches, a new innovative training app and exclusive event weekend experiences. Visit Mark’s Fundraising Page
As an Advisor of the FLOBEL Foundation, Mark mentors young advisors who are interested in pursuing music professionally. With time on his hands, Mark helps startups get off the ground and volunteers with organizations and NY based non-profits. With only 42 days left to train, Mark tells Nectar News more about the upcoming journey and his goal to raise further interest in Team In Training’s charitable fitness opportunities.
NN: When did you begin training for the big Mt Kilimanjaro climb?
MB: I started training back in November, but due to some extreme sports activities last year I was struggling with a bad shoulder. I finally got shoulder surgery and was scheduled for a 6-12 month recovery. I felt good about my shoulder five months into healing, but I had pledged my commitment to climb Kilimanjaro in support of the TNT back in July. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to train that much until around April and midway through rehab I also had to go in for knee surgery. My recovery from knee surgery was four weeks which now gives me just about a month to train for the climb. My doctor has convinced me that I’ll have a pretty high success rate in terms of completion [physical fitness] and the rest is mental. Now I’m starting to let people know I’m climbing and I’ve raised about 85% of my fundraising goal. My daughter had Leukemia when she was five and a half and she was on chemo for about two and a half years. Knock on wood, she is 25 years old today and works at Discovery Network. I have three daughters, they are all great and they are all healthy.
NN: What inspired you to commit to the climb instead of the other endurance events that TNT hosts?
MB: I did a Team In Training event four years ago and I’ve participated in several other endurance events and charity projects, but my body has been breaking down. In making my decision to climb Kilimanjaro I said that I shouldn’t do another triathlon because I didn’t know if my body could physically handle it.
NN: What is your relationship with the TNT outside of your upcoming climb? Have you worked with them before or do you have any history with their contribution to Leukemia and Lymphoma research?
MB: Once you have Leukemia in your family you are on a lot of different databases. My daughter was diagnosed 20 years ago and received treatment from Columbia Presbyterian which is now New York Presbyterian. I actually didn’t find out about Team In Training until about seven years ago. As I said, I was on the mailing list and I did some research.They organize groups for endurance building and if you take advantage of their resources it really works.
NN: What is your favorite part about these endurance events?
MB: For me it is really just about the big picture. I’m making sure that I keep charity as my focus. This is the second fundraiser I’m doing with Team In Training in five years. I love the people, everybody is very supportive and everybody who does a TNT event has a story. They are truly committed to trying to eradicate blood cancers. I’ve had, unfortunately, a number of cancer related struggles within my family and believe this is a worthwhile effort to undertake.
NN: What would you like our followers to know about your journey with TNT?
MB: I want to let other people know they have an unbelievable opportunity, if they are fitness oriented people, to really have a great time and do something really good with TNT. I’m 60 years old and this is maybe my first big selfish venture. I have 42 days to train, I’m in the gym three or four hours a day and I need to push myself because I really want to finish the climb. The real goal is to raise as much awareness and funds for Team In Training, Leukemia and Lymphoma as possible.
Teams In Training is a 501c3 established in 1988 as a department of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The non-profit has raised over 1 billion dollars and has over 650,000 athletes that have participated in their events. This will be Mark’s second event with the Climb To Cure fundraiser and he is one of twelve in a group that will climb Mt Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet).
Support Mark’s climb by visiting his Team In Training link