Big Superheroes (+ little probiotic superheroes) climb Mt. Kilimanjaro


Team Above + Beyond Cancer, at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Photo Credit: Dylan Trivette

The little superheroes?

Our probiotics.

The big superheroes?

40 cancer survivors and caregivers from Above + Beyond Cancer.

Their Mission?

To give back. To grow in mind, body and spirit. To climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

H2PRO was honored to climb with them.  Here’s the story.


Above + Beyond Cancer Gives Back

Above + Beyond Cancer is a non-profit founded by Dr. Richard Deming an oncologist from Des Moines, Iowa known for excellence and compassion in patient care.  Above + Beyond Cancer empowers cancer patients and survivors to ‘pursue ambitious goals’ while also advocating for good public policy to reduce cancer rates, advocating to improve fitness and nutrition to aid survivorship and to support, the “mind-body-spirit journey” of a cancer diagnosis.

Since 2011 Above + Beyond Cancer has taken cancer survivors and caregivers on mission trips around the world.  The January 2017 trip was dualistic.  Forty survivors and caregivers arrived in Nairobi, Kenya and worked at Kenyatta National Hospital.  

The participants completed a service project and spent 3 days meeting with cancer patients and staff.  The group, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society, worked to address the need for a Hope Lodge, where patients might stay when they travel to Kenyatta National Hospital for cancer treatment. This hospital is the only hospital in Kenya that provides cancer care.


Cancer Survivors Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

The second part of the trip is a challenge and an individual journey for each member of the group. They embark on an adventure of endurance, hiking to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Above + Beyond Cancer calls it the mind-body-spirit journey.

The hike is not highly technical but participants train for the days of hiking; it is rigorous and challenging. Some train for months ahead of time in order to be able to physically complete the trek.  The conditions are strenuous and cold. Each member much reach inside to achieve the goal of reaching the summit.

Richard Demming, M.D., the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer writes, “How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. All you have to do is take one more step. If you can find a reason to take one more step, you can make it to the top.” [1] The entire group made the summit. Some of these survivors remain under treatment for incurable cancers. Dr. Demming says the guides have never seen such a success rate in a group, typically only half of climbers make the summit [1].  


H2PRO PROvided Probiotics for the Trek

H2PRO had an opportunity we were only too happy to take.  We would provide H2PRO for the group while hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro.  

Our probiotics played only a small important role in the trek.  H2PRO comes in daily dose packets that are easy to carry and add to filtered water used on the trek, providing flavor, vitamins and probiotics.  Our product is ideal for travel since it doesn’t require refrigeration. Probiotics have been shown to help prevent and treat Traveler’s Diarrhea, support the immune system and contribute to healthy gut function. 

Participant and cancer survivor Jake DeHaai said, “It was always nice to take a break from water with some H2PRO. It’s a great taste and really kind of gave a little jolt of energy that could kinda keep you going. It was a good escape from the harshness of the mountain.”

The big work was done by these courageous survivors and caregivers.  We were just happy to be along for the ride.

#LoveYourGuts, anywhere.




1- Deming, Richard, A journey to Africa with Above and Beyond Cancer. March 11, 2017 The Des Moines Register


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