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Gunnison Valley Health and Living Journeys Host Polar Explorer, Eric Larsen

In honor of colorectal cancer awareness month, Gunnison Valley Health and Living Journeys are coming together to raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening and early detection. To kick things off the two organizations are hosting Straight Talk: Colorectal Cancer on Thursday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts in Crested Butte.

Living Journey’s Executive Director, Julie Reid, said in 2022 the organization wanted to expand services to provide information to our community about screening and prevention.

“Last year’s event was eye opening for me and is what convinced me to get my colonoscopy for the first time this year at the age 45,” Reid said. “This year we are fortunate to have Eric Larsen join us to share stories from his amazing career and his journey with cancer. Cancer can affect any of us; getting your recommended screenings will catch cancer early and save lives.”

The free event will feature prevention and screening information from local healthcare providers Erica Eaton, PA-C, Dr. Augustine J. Lee, MD, Dr. Andrew Salim MD and Dr. Paulette Blanchet; a presentation from polar explorer and cancer survivor Eric Larsen; dinner from the Secret Stash; and free childcare.

Polar adventurer, expedition guide and educator, Eric Larsen has spent the past 25 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet. To date, Eric has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history. Included in that list are the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole as well as a world record expedition to the South Pole, North Pole and top of Mt. Everest all within a 365-day period and a 2014 unsupported North Pole expedition featured in the Discovery documentary, Melting: Last Race to the Pole. Eric's adventure interests and accomplishments span a wide variety of outdoor disciplines including a first ascent in the Himalayas in Nepal, dog sled expeditions and racing, winter bike adventures, multi-sport traverses and much more. An accomplished guide, Eric regularly leads 'Last Degree' expeditions to both the North and South Poles as well as a month-long Greenland ice cap traverse. In January 2021, Eric was diagnosed with stage 3b colorectal cancer and after a difficult year and a half battle is currently "NED" (No Evidence of Disease). He is currently writing a book detailing his 'cancer expedition'. Eric lives in CB South with his wife Maria and two young children Merritt (10) and Ellie (7). His current no shower record is 72 days.