Nearly 2,000 people are taking part in Saturday’s annual “Trek Up The Tower” fundraiser in Omaha. One of the participants is 56 year old Rich Wise of Omaha. He climbed the First National Tower in the past and made it up all 40 floors in less than nine minutes. This year it may take him a bit longer but he is determined to make it all 480 steps.
Wise was diagnosed with prostate cancer last October that spread to his lymph nodes and bones. On the Gleason test that ranges from one to ten Wise was a nine. His doctors sent him to Phoenix, Arizona where he took part in an experimental drug study. He went through two days of screening and got the good news that he would be around for a while. He says the weight of the world was lifted from his shoulders.
Wise is now an advocate for prostate cancer. He says climbing the tower is a challenge but says making it to the top will be a big goal. Wise says, “The cancer leaves me real winded so I said I’m not going to let this thing beat me and not let it determine how I live my life. I’m bound and determined to live a healthy lifestyle and continue to do what I want to do. I set this as a goal to Trek the Tower just as my way of saying I’m not going to let cancer beat me.”
Wise has a lot of support. About 20 family members and colleagues are making the climb with him. Trek Up The Tower raises money for a non-profit that works to improve workplace wellness.