John Ellison, founder of Climbers Against Cancer, has passed away peacefully in his sleep. The announcement was made on the charity's Facebook page by John's daughter Charlotte.
Charlotte's full announcement is as follows:
The BMC would like to pass on condolences to John's family and friends, particularly Charlotte, at this difficult time.
The BMC is extremely proud to support the charity organisation Climbers Against Cancer (CAC), which has soared to international success and donated to research around the world.
As a tribute to John, and in the run up to CAC’s three-year anniversary, we take a brief look at what he achieved in such a short space of time:
Climbers Against Cancer is the charity founded in January 2013 by BMC member John Ellison, who decided to take a stand against the disease that affects so many, including himself. The charity’s goals are not only to raise much needed funds to help fight cancer, but to also raise awareness of the disease – highlighting the problems that its victims and their friends and families go through.
“We are starting to raise awareness about the importance of our health, of cancer screening, and of cancer itself,” said John when talking to the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Plenary Assembly in Paris. "We're making it okay to talk about illness and death, we're giving people a chance to show empathy. These things, in turn, make us all grow as human beings, and as a society."
As of September 2015, CAC has raised more than £350,000 through fundraising events and the sale of its immediately recognisable branded t-shirts, hoodies, posters and climbing holds – check the items out on the CAC website
and lend your support. All the funds raised go directly to charity, which has enabled the organisation to donate to leading cancer research centres around the world, most prominently in France, Australia and Canada.
CAC is backed by a range of organisations and climbers, including our very own BMC ambassador and top British boulderer Shauna Coxsey. It’s no surprise then that the BMC has also extended its support to the organisation and to John.
“John Ellison has been a massive inspiration to us all,” said Dave Turnbull, chief executive officer of the BMC. “He continues to showcase what can be achieved with dedication, determination, and his unique vision that built upon the strong bond of our climbing community.”
Recognition for the work of John and CAC has come from all corners of the globe. John has been appointed as an Honorary Member of the IFSC, he received a UIAA (The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) award in recognition of his work, and recently won the prestigious Arco Rock Legends Ambassador Award in acknowledgement of his contribution to the international climbing culture.
"Every now and then someone comes along who transcends divisions and Ellison, through his personal battle against cancer which he has fought with such dignity and that wonderful smile, has taught us all the true meaning of what we are all about,” said Frits Vrijlandt, president of the UIAA, at a meeting in 2014.
The BMC is exceptionally pleased to add its support and voice to that of CAC. We take our helmets off to John and look forward to seeing CAC continue to make a difference around the globe.
Visit the Climbers Against Cancer shop
and buy an item to help fund this worthy cause or donate directly here