Three Time cancer survivor rappels the Oliver Building to raise cancer awareness

Rose Lynd rapelling

Mover & Shaker of the Month: Rose Lynd

By: Paula Green

Rappelling down a skyscraper requires skill and bravery.  One local woman completed this arduous journey along with 59 other courageous individuals on Sept. 17.  Rose Lynd, 33 of Morningside successful rappelled down the 345 foot Oliver Building in downtown Pittsburgh.   Rose’s descent of the skyscraper is yet another obstacle she has hurdled over the past nine years, while she has endured three bouts with cancer.

In Sept. 2005, Rose was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 24.  She relapsed in 2008.  Last year, Rose was diagnosed with leukemia.  In June 2013, she had a peripheral blood stem cell transplant with cells donated by her sister.

She chose to rappel the 25-story skyscraper to celebrate her survival and give back to the community.  “This event sounded really awesome.  There hasn’t been nearly enough fun or joy in my last year and a half, so this is sort of my ‘you-survived-transplant-and-deserve-some-fun’ gift to myself,” Rose noted.

Rose decided to immerse herself in a cause that would help others who are also raging a battle with cancer.  The rappelling event “Over the Edge Pittsburgh” fundraiser was sponsored by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan.  It was held for the benefit of Our Clubhouse, which a local nonprofit organization that provides free emotional and social support for those touched by cancer.

“There is one big lesson I’ve learned over the last nine years that every woman should know: trust your body and stand up for yourself.  It is important to trust your doctor, but it is more important to find a doctor that you trust and who also trusts you.  Six months before I was diagnosed with cancer I knew something more than acid reflux was wrong with me but I didn’t stand up to the doctors and the cancer grew, and spread.  I don’t make those mistakes any more.  My doctors are the experts on my disease, but I have always been the expert on my body – each person is.  When your life is at stake is not the time for polite deference.  Your advocate needs to believe just as much in your instincts.  I know I have survived these illnesses and enjoyed many beautiful moments along the way.”