When Chicagoan Alex Pancoe reached the summit of Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) in Alaska in June, it marked the end of a challenge only 15 other Americans have completed before: the Explorers Grand Slam. The adventures consist of reaching the North and South Poles and the Seven Summits, defined as the highest mountain peaks of each of the seven continents.
Pancoe’s climb up Denali came just a few weeks after reaching the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest, at a time when that mountain was in the news for the deaths of several climbers in a traffic jam. He came home with pneumonia.
Why did he do it? Alex was 18 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital. After that, he wanted to give back to Lurie and the patients there and on every climb he dedicates it to a child at Lurie’s. He has raised almost $500,000 for the hospital.
For more information and to donate, check out peaksofmind.org