Giving Back and Experiencing Nature

Sometimes we need to get away from work, and the news, to recharge our batteries. August is traditionally that time of year for me.

I just got back from the summit of Mt. Baker (elevation 10,781 ft) in the North Cascades of Washington. It was another successful mountain trip with terrific biotech people – entrepreneur Julia Owens, investor Dan Bradbury, venture capitalist Nancy Hong, and Ardem Patapoutian (Nancy’s husband and a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute).

We were guided by Lakpa Rita Sherpa, Jangbu Sherpa and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa. They are some of the most accomplished Sherpa mountain guides in the world. Lakpa and Jangbu are good friends of mine, and were part of the guiding team on my Mt. Everest summit expedition in 2018. Dawa Yangzum is famous for being the first Nepali woman to summit K2, and the only woman of color on the all-star team of mountain athletes sponsored by The North Face.

This climb was a fundraiser for the Alpine Ascents Foundation, which supports education for 55 Sherpa schoolchildren in Nepal. Together, we raised $20,000 for the cause.

There were some challenges. We ran into 50 mph winds. We had to avoid some massive crevasses. It was a long, low-visibility day on the icy glaciers of the North Cascades. But everyone made it up and down safely, and had a wonderful time. See a couple photos (that’s me and Julia Owens on the very windy summit).

This isn’t my only outdoor adventure which mobilizes the biotech community for a good cause in 2021.

Next month, I’m taking a team of 20 biotech executives and investors on the Presidential Traverse hike in New Hampshire. We’ll cover more than 20 miles, and gain more than 8,000 feet of elevation as we cross over the summits of Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Madison and more.

This Timmerman Traverse is a fundraiser for Life Science Cares. It’s an organization that supports an array of outstanding nonprofits in the Boston area who do critical work on homelessness, hunger, job training, education and more. LSC is now expanding its model to other biotech hubs — the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Philadelphia.

Life Science Cares provides a way for the biotech community to support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and help them get back on their feet.

The Timmerman Traverse team has raised more than $479,000 so far – well on our way to smashing the $500,000 team goal. I’m proud of this group of dedicated biotech leaders, and grateful for the generous support of so many people.

If you’d like to learn more about this trip and this team, watch this 3-minute video created by SVB, the lead sponsor of the Timmerman Traverse for Life Science Cares.

Doug Fambrough of Dicerna, Katherine Andersen of SVB, Alice Pomponio of the American Cancer Society, Samantha Truex of Atlas Venture, Dave Melville of The Bowdoin Group all have powerful messages about why they’re doing what they do. Art Krieg of Checkmate Pharmaceuticals and Jeb Keiper of Nimbus Therapeutics also have potent video testimonials at the end.

You can click here to see who’s on the team, and make a contribution directly to their fundraising campaign through the JustGiving.org platform.

There is tremendous capacity for good in the biopharmaceutical industry. Let’s show it.

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