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As a journalist, Luke Timmerman has covered biotech for more than 17 years. Now, the Timmerman Report founder is making headlines for his efforts to raise money for cancer research.

“Let’s get those remission rates up to the 80, 90 percent level for lots of different types of cancer,” Timmerman said. “It’s in the palm of our hand if we’re willing to pay attention, put the money in and work on it.”

Luke Timmerman

In 2018, Timmerman climbed Mount Everest as part of the Climb to Fight Cancer fundraising campaign for Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Last year, Timmerman raised $340,000.

“Everest was an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

And he wants to do it again — this time, at Mount Kilimanjaro.

“I remember during the Everest campaign, one of the venture capitalists who supported my campaign said, ‘You know, Luke, you ought to think about raising $1 million.’”

Timmerman is not far from that goal. Even before he officially announced his Kilimanjaro campaign on Wednesday morning, 17 people had already committed to climbing in Tanzania in July, with the goal of raising $850,000 so far.

“I am over-the-moon excited about this,” Timmerman said.

Timmerman seems confident that the team will raise more than $1 million, and this might not have been possible without his professional network of biotech CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors. The climbers on Timmerman’s Kilimanjaro team, who have committed to raising $50,000 each, include the CEOs of Nuvelution Pharma, TCR2 Therapeutics and ZappRx.

“I would encourage people who care passionately about a cause to think about how they can activate their own networks to try to channel that energy in some positive direction,” Timmerman said.

The money raised will go towards research at Fred Hutch, from staffing lab scientists to developing new ideas that might not receive federal funding otherwise.

“That’s one of the greatest things about the Hutch — these risk-taking ideas that really turn into definitive therapies and cures for people,” said Andrea Towlerton, a project manager at the Clinical Research division at Fred Hutch.

Towlerton has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro herself as part of the Climb to Fight Cancer campaign.

“I’ve dedicated a lot of my time and energy and money because I find that it’s only right to give back to a place that has given so much to other people,” she said. “I’m really proud of Luke and what he’s doing and everyone on the team.”

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