Climbing for Prevention: Michelle Kalberer Prepares to Climb Against the Odds

Breast Cancer Fund works to eliminate the environmental toxins contributing to the prevalence of breast cancer in our country. As a proud partner of the organization, we do our part every day to support these efforts. We have done this from the start by making products that the general public can trust; all Klean Kanteen bottles are entirely BPA, BPS and liner-free, which provides consumers with a toxin-free solution to BPA-laden water bottles, to-go coffee cups and plastic food containers. Additionally, we participate in breast cancer prevention fundraising whenever possible.

This year, our very own Michelle Kalberer, co-owner of Klean Kanteen, is going to Climb Against the Odds. She's been training to climb 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California this June, all the while fundraising in support of Breast Cancer Fund. When Michelle first began her Climb Against the Odds training, we asked her why this particular effort is near and dear to her heart, and here's what she told us: 

"I’ve held my mom’s hand – and recently the hand of my best friend – through breast cancer. I am saddened, scared and frustrated that only half of those diagnosed with breast cancer experience the disease as a result of genetics; the other half of breast cancer diagnoses can be linked to toxins in our environment. That’s one of the reasons it’s so special to me to support the Breast Cancer Fund. They connect the dots for consumers around what we can do to lessen our exposure, and they go to bat for us to make real change happen. Conquering Mount Shasta is just icing on the cake! I’ve got my boots, I love a good challenge and I will summit that mountain with determination.”

As Michelle's climb draws nearer, she's been sharing her training, fundraising and prepping updates with the team. We caught up with her this week: 

Klean Kanteen: First of all, how is training going? 

Michelle Kalberer: My training is going excellent! I am up to carrying 40 pounds in my pack and hiking up and down hills up to twelve miles. I have truly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people from all over the U.S. They are so inspired and amazing, and they all have their own stories to tell around their journey with the Breast Cancer Fund. I am so lucky to call them my friends! I have definitely asked people who've done this climb before about my packing list. I am always cold, and I think that is what is making me the most nervous. Hearing Klean Kanteen's past climbers' stories of their actual trek up the mountain is encouraging, and I know whatever I put my mind to I can accomplish.

Klean Kanteen: Can you tell us a bit more about why Klean Kanteen has a partnership with BCF? 

Michelle Kalberer: We have been a friend and a partner of The Breast Cancer Fund since (just about) the inception of Klean Kanteen. We have a strong connection with BCF, as they help connect the dots between cancer and the harmful exposure to chemicals and radiation in our everyday products and environments. We recognize that focusing on prevention is important in order to protect our bodies and environment. We created the very first Klean Kanteen to give people a safe, BPA-free alternative to products that have known chemicals linked to breast cancer. As a brand, we’ve been focused on prevention from day one, and we have always found BCF to be an inspiration to us.

Klean Kanteen: Has the significance of this climb grown for you personally as you get closer to it? 

Michelle Kalberer: The Breast Cancer Fund has always been very dear to my heart, but as I get closer to the climb I feel inside just how important the work that they do is. Having those close to me go through the trauma of this disease encourages me to fundraise and get myself up that mountain to raise my prayer flags for all! I have met so many great people, and  feel like I have been a part of such a special journey with the Breast Cancer Fund and those they touch. I have been given such a wonderful opportunity, and I can’t wait to feel like I am on top of the world!

If you would still like to donate to the Breast Cancer Fund and my climb, you can do so on my fundraising page today!