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A Move To The Mountains For The Best Cancer Care

Emily Tamberino

VAIL CO– “Remember that guy who gave up? No one else does either.”

These are the words on Bill Schane's Pink Vail fundraising page. He posts similar daily motivators on his website “Don't Go It Alone.” Schane is a man of guiding principles. And they're getting him through some pretty rough patches including a fight for his life.

This past April Schane was diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioama a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin cell walls surrounding the abdominal cavity known as the peritoneum. An executive at the Boeing Company Schane has learned the power of personal conviction accompanied by the help of others. “Oftentimes when we try to do things 'my way' or in an isolated manner the results are sub-optimal” he explains. “That got me on the path of how truly successful activities are collaborative and that we all need one another at many levels to accomplish what we aim to achieve.”

On March 21st when 2500 expected Pink Vail participants take to Vail Mountain in a united and spirited fight against cancer Schane will be reminded that he does not go it alone.

Pink Vail is the world's biggest ski day to conquer cancer. In its first three years it has raised $1 million dollars for patient care and survivorship programs at Shaw Regional Cancer Center. This year's $500000 goal will ensure that patients undergoing treatment at Shaw receive complimentary services under the “Spirit of Survival” program which includes fitness and emotional support massage and acupuncture nutrition consultation and unique experiences like hut trips group snowshoes cooking demonstrations art and pottery classes and educational lectures. These services are not typically covered by insurance but have been proven to dramatically impact quality of life and survivorship.

Schane was diagnosed in his hometown of St. Louis and due to the rare nature of his cancer was guided to pursue his care in Chicago. After he underwent surgery and treatments he was left extremely fatigued and the physicians who had been treating him lacked the vision and tools to help him regain his strength—and his life. He was researching cancer one morning when he stumbled upon a video about the Spirit of Survival program on Shaw Regional Cancer Center's website. He brought his laptop to his wife and in tears he told her Shaw is where he had to be. “The Spirit of Survival program spoke to me in the way that it addressed the fatigue I was experiencing and the need to learn how to live with cancer” he says. “You have to learn how to be a survivor. Shaw has shown me how to do that.”

Schane has taken advantage of the Spirit of Survival's fitness classes nutrition counseling and acupuncture. He has rebuilt himself and today he is doing what he loves—alpine ski racing.

Schane will be wearing a custom-made pink speed suit for Pink Vail. He and Team Don't Go it Alone have already received nearly 100 donations from family and friends. They've raised more than $12000 with a goal of raising $20000.

“Before I underwent surgery I asked my doctors if I would ski again” says Schane. “I knew if they said 'yes' I could get through the surgery and everything after that. To see how far I've come to be able to ski on Pink Vail with my family and friends—it's incredible. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.”

“We are so pleased to be a positive part of Bill's journey through cancer” says Vail Valley Medical Center President and CEO Doris Kirchner. “Pink Vail is a celebration and commemoration of everyone's journey.”

Presented by Helly Hansen Pink Vail is hosted at the top of Vail Mountain at Eagle's Nest and includes all day live music deck parties a costume contest and the Celebration Ski Down. All ages and abilities are welcome and you don't have to ski to participate. Similar to a run or walk to support cancer participants register at and invite friends family and co-workers to join their team or make a donation on their behalf. 100% of the proceeds from Pink Vail stay in the community.

Pink Vail wouldn't be as successful without the support of national and community partners like Helly Hansen Vail Mountain Epic Promise Town of Vail Vail Valley Surgery Center Maui Jim Diversified Radiology Smartwool Coors Light FirstBank Slifer Smith & Frampton Head skis Larkburger Bula Chateau d'Esclans Wyndham Vacation Rentals The Arrabelle at Vail Square Four Seasons Resort Takeda Oncology Mountain Beverage New Belgium Brewery Genentech 104.7 The Mile Korbel Chambord Crazy Mountain Brewery Dusty Boot GE Johnson Luminate Advertising Astrazeneca US Bank Centennial Bank and Vail Daily.

Shaw Regional Cancer Center at Vail Valley Medical Center is for anyone seeking comprehensive cancer care in a peaceful and intimate setting. Patients travel to Shaw for their Ivy League doctors top-of-the-line equipment—including the best technology available for radiation therapy and 3D mammography—and impeccable reputation for breast and prostate cancer treatment. The multidisciplinary approach of their cancer care team benefits each patient's individualized treatment plan supporting the patient and family through treatment all the way to survivorship. One of the country's premiere boutique cancer treatment facilities Shaw Regional Cancer Center has been recognized and accredited by some of the top cancer organizations in the country including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Foundation® Susan G. Komen for the Cure® American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).