A Busy Month, but a Good One


October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we did our best to get out and help. There was a research funding panel, a bike ride and survivorship panel to support LIVESTRONG, a golf tournament to support children battling cancer, our second marathon of the year, a visit to two Congressional offices in Washington DC, a civics lesson for Elliott, and a wonderful recognition of Bree on the floor of the US House. Lots of stories and pictures below, if you’re interested. Thanks for all of the kind words!



ACS CAN Houston

ACS CAN Houston with US Representative Pete Olson

Bree was able to participate in a panel discussion on state and federal funding for cancer research. It was presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and also included MD Anderson’s Gordon Mills, M.D. US Representative Pete Olson, and Texas State Representative Sarah Davis. It was an honor to be the voice of the patient, who benefited directly from advances in clinical research.



We were extremely excited to be asked to participate in the 18th annual Ride For The Roses, in Austin (Thanks, Mike!). Bree, and two fellow survivors, participated in a panel discussion on survivorship, with LIVESTRONG CEO Chandini Portteus. Stephen rode the low-bar entry ride at 20 miles, and Beck and Elliott bounced in the bounce house. Just as it was last year, it was humbling to be surrounded by so many people who have dedicated themselves to helping others. Thank you to everyone who has helped support LIVESTRONG’s services through our fundraising efforts over the last year. It really does make a difference.



The amazing Boydstun family once again hosted their annual golf tournament to support the Bear Necessities. Presley Boydstun is an incredible example of cancer survivorship, and her family has made it a point to help others. This is the third year we’ve been able to participate, and it is for an amazing cause. The Houston chapter of Bear Necessities works with Texas Children’s Hospital to support patients in treatment, through programs like Flashes of Hope, and many others. If you’re interested in helping out, let us know. They’ve got an annual Crawfish Boil, too!



On October 25, we subjected ourselves to the 40th running of the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington DC. Turns out, it was completely amazing. This was our second marathon of the year (and ever), and was another opportunity to celebrate life. We were able to run and raise funds for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, while paying tribute to some amazing people who were impacted by cancer. This race is truly one of a kind, and worth reading about. Of particular note is the Blue Mile, which is dedicated to fallen service members. Unbelievable. Thank you to everyone who supported our run, and kept our spirits up!



US Representative (and fellow Aggie) Will Hurd

Along with running the marathon, we were able to see some sights and pay visits to some of our Texas legislators. First up was Representative Will Hurd. Will is a friend and fellow Aggie who has worked his way through Texas A&M, the CIA, and up to Capitol Hill. Thanks to Representative Hurd for welcoming us, spending time with Elliott, and for holding a distinct honor amongst the halls of Congress: The only Congressman to have attended a Haywood concert. That’s either really good, or really bad. Thanks, Will!

We then headed to Representative Pete Olson‘s office. Elliott’s 3rd grade class also joined in by drafting a letter to their Congressman. Elliott was able to hand-deliver the letter, and a response was soon back in the classroom, in Katy, Texas. Mr Olson was even kind enough to post a photo of him responding to the kids. Elliott also took the opportunity to make himself comfortable with the Congressman’s desk. Thank you for welcoming our family, Mr Olson!

This really was an incredible experience for all of us. The lesson learned was this: Writing and speaking to your representatives at a state and federal level is easier than you think, and really can make a difference. Whether you agree, or disagree, with your Representative’s politics isn’t the point. They are still your Representative in Congress, and they can only be responsive to your needs, if you communicate with them. I would encourage everyone to give it a go.



Beyond hosting us in DC, Congressman Olson was kind enough to recognize Bree in a floor speech in the US House of Representatives. It was extremely thoughful of him to consider her, and offered an acknowledgement of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s in the records, now…



Thanks to everyone! Come visit us in Katy!


Photo Aug 02, 12 59 45 AM.smaller

It really has been a busy summer. We’ve had a little bit of everything…

We’ve been to Colorado (twice for some of us), hospitals, received a new wheelchair from Aspen Seating, started training for the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, continued fundraising for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, attended conferences, done interviews, and are eagerly waiting Thursday night’s national cable premiere of Marc Middleton and Growing Bolder‘s wonderful documentary following our Survivor Summit climb, titled Conquering Kilimanjaro.

We know this is a lot of stuff. Hopefully, most of it reaches you and is in some way interesting, entertaining, or useful. As always, thank you all for being so incredibly supportive of our family! We even added a few photos!




The wonderful documentary that Marc Middleton and his team at Growing Bolder made to capture our climb of Kilimanjaro is ready for your living room! You can now purchase a download the movie, or watch it on cable one of two nights, this week. Here are the details:


Conquering Kilimanjaro can be purchased for download or streaming through VHX, at conqueringkilimanjaro.vhx.tv . I did it just last week. I purchased, downloaded, and was able to play it through iTunes, just like any other movie. Awesome and easy!


Set your DVRs! Conquering Kilimanjaro will make its national premiere this Thursday night, on the RLTV network. It will be preceded by a 30-minute Behind the Scenes episode of Growing Bolder. The entire programming package will re-air on Saturday night.

To find out where and when to tune in, visit the RLTV website, and click “Where To Watch” from the menu. Click “Schedule” from the menu to confirm viewing times. Here are the basics:

Stations In Texas:
AT&T U-verse – Ch 175
Comcast – Ch 132
Time Warner – Ch 178

Thursday, Sept 10
7:00 CST – Behind the Scenes Special
7:30 CST – Conquering Kilimanjaro

Saturday, Sept 13
8:00 CST – Behind the Scenes Special
8:30 CST – Conquering Kilimanjaro

Confirm your local stations, here
Confirm your local times, here




Click here to support our run!

We’ve been training off and on all summer for our second full marathon! On October 25, we’ll be in Washington D.C., for the Marine Corps Marathon. Once again, we’re running to benefit the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Over the past two years our friends, family, and co-workers have helped us raise over $32,000 to help patients and loved ones affected by cancer. This funding has done amazing things for people in need of support. In the last few months alone, Bree and I have been approached by a handful of friends dealing with a new diagnosis. The existence of the LIVESTRONG Foundation is essential to making sure they have the information and resources they need to regain their bearings.

At the beginning of the year, we decided to raise $10,000 to support these services. Today, we are $6,000 closer to that goal. If you’d like to help push us over the top, we would love to have your support. Running this race and getting a few blisters is the least we can do for an organization that offers so much, to so many.


Please click here, if you would like to donate to our run!




Last month, MD Anderson interviewed us for an article in their quarterly publication, Conquest. They even sent out the ridiculously talented Wyatt McSpadden to take some photographs. I’m not going to get into how lucky we were to have Mr McSpadden take our photos. The man is beyond good. It all turned out great, and explains everything from why we wanted to join Survivor Summit, to all that we took away from the trip. The full article can be read, here.




Bree has remained active as a patient advocate for the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Project within MD Anderson’s Moonshots Program. She recently attended a scientific review of the project’s progress. It was really amazing to have an active role with the scientists, researchers and doctors who are on the front lines of modern cancer treatment and prevention. We are extremely lucky to have these individuals looking out for Bree and her health.



Photo Aug 08, 1 34 59 PM

Beck was able to make his first trip to Colorado, in August. We went up to Denver for a new wheelchair seating system from Ride Designs & Aspen Seating. This company is truly amazing at what they do. Beyond custom molding a seat to Beck’s every curve, they also create the same seating systems for nearly every athlete on the US Paralympic winter sports teams. So… Beck will need to start training a little, to fully break in his new wheels.

Unfortunately, the trip did have its low points. Beck had two severe seizures that required ER visits, one inside an ambulance. The altitude and fatigue were just a bit too much. However, as you can see in the photo above, a little oxygen went a long way to getting him back on track. We made it out hiking, and ate plenty of ice cream.

Elliott had a great time. No problems there!

Photo Aug 08, 10 44 56 AM




I was also lucky enough to get out and about in Colorado. Cannon Anderson helped plan an amazing adventure through the Weminuche Wilderness in southwest Colorado. We boarded one of the last narrow gauge, steam-powered trains in the country in Durango, and took it 2.5 north, towards Silverton. The train stops halfway along the route, and you exit the train with your backpack and a few days worth of supplies. Then, you hike 7 miles east, up into the incredible Chicago Basin. From there, you camp, enjoy the views and climb Colorado’s three most isolated 14,000 ft peaks. We made it up Windom Peak, and called it a day. An absolutely amazing experience.

Thanks To Everyone!


We just wanted to say thank you, over and over again, to everyone who made the Houston Premiere of Conquering Kilimanjaro such a wonderful event. We were able to raise $4380 for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. To make things even better, we were able to donate the funds raised to LIVESTRONG through their participation in the Amplify Austin campaign. Car2Go Austin was generous enough to match donations (including ours) during that time. That means that everyone’s hard work and support added up to $8760 for the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s programs and services. That’s incredible, and we thank everyone who played a part in making it happen.

Thank you to everyone who flew in to be with us: Chris Warner, Marc Middleton, Michael and Debbie Nanus, Bob Chandler, Rob Sergent and Brian Myers.

Thank you to Jon & Deanna Goss for offering up their time to help things run smoothly, and to Brandon & Stephanie Elam for taking so many incredible pictures for everyone to share.

Thank you to all of Beck & Elliott’s caretakers, physicians, nurses, therapists, teachers and school namesakes who took the time to share an evening with us.

Thank you to all of our friends and co-workers. You have all been so unbelievably supportive over the last 8 years. It really was amazing to have so many of you together, in one place.

Thank you to our families for always taking care of us, and for allowing us to do all of these things!

Thank you to our incredible sponsors: Alamo Drafthouse, El Tiempo Cantina, Pennzoil, Ranger Creek, Fine Wine Dump, Bolder Broadcasting, and Earth Treks.

Thank you to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Survivor Summit, and everyone at those two groups that helped gather what we needed to make this night happen. Thank you, again, for making people’s lives better every single day.

This really was a wonderful evening, and we are very appreciative of everyone who was there to be a part of it. I’ve placed a few photos from the event, below, and there’s an entire gallery up on Facebook. You can see them all, here. We should also let you know that planning is underway for documentary screenings in a few other cities, across the U.S.. If you are interested in hosting a screening, please feel free to contact us, or the folks at Bolder Broadcasting. If you’d like to own a DVD of the movie, they are available for purchase at the movie’s website.

On another note, we wanted to let everyone know that we’re officially crazy! After finishing the full Disney Marathon this January, Bree turned to me and said, “I think that the half-marathon is the perfect racing distance”. With that thought fresh on our minds, LIVESTRONG offered us a chance to join them in running the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, D.C.. Our bodies are saying “not so sure about that”, but our hearts are all in, and we’ve accepted the challenge. This is going to be an amazing opportunity, and we are honored to be representing LIVESTRONG along the way.

If you would like to make a donation to the LIVESTRONG Foundation in support of the film premiere or our upcoming marathon, you can do that here. We’ve set a goal of $10,000, and we’re more than half way there!

The LIVESTRONG Foundation helped us change our lives for the better, by inspiring us to do more. If you, or someone you love, is affected by cancer, please know that LIVESTRONG is here to help, in many ways.

Thank you so much! We can’t wait until we get to see everyone, again!

Sold Out

Well, the Houston Premiere of Conquering Kilimanjaro just sold out!

However… in order to avoid overbooking the theater, and in the event of last minute changes, I’ve held back a few tickets. If you do not have a ticket, and are still interested in attending the screening, please email directly at: stephensandlin at gmail.com

I will put you on our standby list. There is a very real possibility that I will have a ticket for you, I’ll just need to sort things through.

Thanks so much to everyone who purchased tickets! It’s going to be a wonderful event, and everyone is looking forward to it.

Let me introduce you…


Marc Middleton and Chris Warner


I’d like to take a few moments and introduce a few of the people you’ll be meeting at the documentary premiere on Feb 26. Marc Middleton, Chris Warner and Michael Nanus. Any one of these gentlemen is worth the price of admission, but 3-for-1 is a steal.

Marc Middleton is one of the kindest, most sincere people that Bree and I have ever encountered. When you speak to him, you’re the only person in the room. Watching Marc from afar, it seems as though he spends all of his time making other people better. He is a humble father and husband, an artist, and someone that you crave time with, when it’s been in short supply. He was an amazing partner to all of us on the mountain. As if that’s not enough, his resume says this about him:

Marc Middleton is Founder and CEO of Bolder Broadcasting Inc. and Growing Bolder, a national TV and radio show host, an award-winning news and sports anchor, reporter and producer whose work has been recognized with two Emmys, six Emmy Nominations, the duPont Award for Excellence in Journalism, and three Sportscaster of the Year awards. 

Marc is the author of Rock Stars of Aging, 50 Ways to Live to 100, a featured blogger on the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on hope, inspiration and possibility. In his spare time, Marc is a multiple world record-holding masters swimmer and  bronze medalist  in the high hurdles at the U.S. Masters Track and Field National Championships.

Did you fully absorb that? “In his spare time, Marc is a multiple world record-holding masters swimmer“. What? That’s awesome.

Chris Warner on Makalu

Chris Warner on Makalu

Chris Warner is a lot of things. To me, Chris is a laugher, a smiler, dependable, a loving father and husband, a great hiking partner and someone who wants to see the best in people. In the working world, Chris is a climber, author, mountain guide, leadership expert, CEO, TV show creator and host, and more. He continually amazes me, with his ability to find a individual’s strengths and let them shine.

Chris’ resume says this:

Chris has led nearly 200 international mountaineering expeditions. He has guided three groups on the North Ridge of Mount Everest and one-hundred and something more groups on peaks like Kilimanjaro, Cotopaxi, Alpamayo, Aconcagua, the Matterhorn and Mount Blanc. He’s summited five of the world’s tallest peaks (Everest, K2, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma). Chris is one of only nine Americans to have summited both K2 and Everest. He is the first American to “solo” an 8000 meter peak, climbing the South Face of Shisha Pangma in a 34 hour non-stop ascent and descent.

Let me break that down. He’s awesome. When your resume says, ‘The first American to…’, it’s probably going to be impressive. He knows what he’s doing in the mountains, and in a boardroom. Interestingly, I feel strongly that if Chris didn’t know what he was doing, it wouldn’t matter. He would figure it out. He’s a constant student of people and situations. Chris lives to improve, and is willing bring others along for ride. Right now, the train is heading to Houston, Texas on February 26. We’ll all be better for that!

Mike Nanus

Stephen, Bree and Mike Nanus


Marc and Chris were responsible for filming footage on the mountain. Once back home, the heavy lifting was turned over to Mike Nanus. Mike edited and molded that footage into the documentary that you will all be seeing. He poured his heart into this project, and I know that everyone involved is grateful. Mike was a part of the greater Growing Bolder team that spent countless weeks of effort putting all of this together. Not one to be outdone, Mike also has his skill sets. He’s an Emmy winning videographer, editor, photographer, and all-around gentle soul. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a person that smiles more than Mike. My friend Sheila Lewicki ranks right up here with Mike in the ‘personality that will never let you down’ category.

In addition to Chris, Marc and Mike, a four more members from the Survivors Summit 2014 team that we climbed with will be present at the screening. We’re also proud to host four climbers from the Survivors Summit 2015 team. Chris and Nelson Laur, led 100% of the 2015 team to the roof of Africa just as the Super Bowl was ending, 2 weekends ago.

Please feel free to tell your friends about the screening. Bree and I are over the top excited to have everyone share in the event, with these incredible people. We’re hoping to create an experience that brings something positive to everyone attending. There will be no lack of optimism in the room. We just want to spread that around. See you there!

February 26, 2015
Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park
114 Vintage Park Blvd
Houston, Texas 77070

Facebook Event Page:http://goo.gl/9wuL2o
Tickets: http://kili.brownpapertickets.com
Movie: http://www.conqueringkilimanjaro.com

Going, going…


Here’s your Friday morning documentary screening update! As of today, 72 of our 80 VIP reception tickets are gone. That leaves room for 8 more revelers. It really should be you! The next tickets to go will be the General Admission tickets. We are expecting this theater to be completely full, so invite your friends and don’t delay. This is going to be a amazing night. We have a movie, a Q&A, and some truly inspirational people lined up for you. Don’t forget, all proceeds will benefit the LIVESTRONG Foundation! Posted with love, Bree & Stephen

Tickets are available at:

More information on the movie can be found at:

More about the event can be found at our Facebook Event Page:

Tickets On Sale Now!


Find your sitters, and plan your night! Tickets are up and ready to be purchased at http://kili.brownpapertickets.com. This is going to be a wonderful night, and we’re hoping to share it with as many of you as possible. Please be aware that this screening will sell out, so don’t get left in the cold!

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park
114 Vintage Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77070

6:30-7:30 VIP Reception w/ Appetizers and Drinks
7:30 Doors open
7:45 Opening introductions
8:00-9:15 Movie Screening
9:15-10:00 Q&A Session with Director, Editor and Participants

Tickets are available now at:
More information on the movie can be found at:
Facebook Event Page: