Meet the Climbers

Ken Malik

This will be my sixth Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness and my most difficult challenge yet. I’m hoping that our expedition will once again send an inspirational message to men and their families: that there is plenty of life possible after a prostate cancer diagnosis.

I’m in my thirteenth year since being diagnosed with prostate cancer. I have never had any conventional treatment! Fortunately, my cancer was diagnosed early and with strict lifestyle changes it has not progressed. These changes include a strict low fat, non-dairy vegetarian type diet (I do eat some fish), meditation practice for stress reduction, regular exercise, and the use of a number of nutritional supplements. Of course I continue to be checked regularly with the best diagnostic tools available. I’m a lucky man, with the healthy lifestyle measures adopted I’m able to live a normal, active life and participate in the rigors of high altitude mountain climbing.

I helped found the Prostate Awareness Foundation, our goal is to encourage men to take proactive responsibility for prevention, regular checkups and their prostate health. I am proud to have the opportunity to participate on this year’s expedition. Please join us in spirit in September when we attempt the summit of Mt Blanc in the Alps. Please visit to make a contribution to PAF on my behalf. All donations are tax deductible.

Ken Malik is the co-founder and executive director of the Prostate Awareness Foundation and also a businessman in San Francisco. He is one of the team leaders of this year’s expedition.

Brad Neal

I can’t believe this will be my fifth Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness. I never intended to be a mountain climber but I’ve been to Yosemite, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Peruvian Andes to help raise money for outreach and education about this epidemic affliction. When I went on the first expedition to Africa it was in honor of my father Pat, a prostate cancer survivor of over 15 years. I know he is real proud of my effort.

Prostate cancer has become a real “family affair” for me. When I returned from Africa in 2003 it was to the news that my brother had been diagnosed with aggressively growing prostate cancer. Fortunately he was diagnosed in time, had radiation therapy and is doing well.

Last year I participated in the El Misti expedition in Peru. A few of my toes froze and I still don’t have the full feeling back yet. Some of my friends think I’m crazy to continue my climbing efforts, they may be right. But this year’s climb in the Rockies, although over 14,000’ shouldn’t be as cold, so here I go again! I want to continue to help the “cause” while honoring my father and brother. I also get to hear more about ways to prevent the disease in the first place. I know I’m a pretty high-risk candidate for prostate cancer since it runs in my family. I much rather prevent it than to have to deal with it. I think these expeditions are a great way for me support prostate cancer outreach programs while learning more about taking care of my own prostate health.

Brad Neal is a mortgage broker who hails from Austin, Texas. Brad conducts an annual local golf tournament in Austin called the Bone Invitational to raise funding for PAF.

Ralph Lake

It seems like no family these days goes untouched by cancer. My father and two uncles were diagnosed with cancer and most recently two good friends were told they have prostate cancer. It seems like there’s an epidemic going on.

My old high school classmate Ken Malik and I became reacquainted a few year’s ago and he has really given me an education about prostate cancer. As a retiree, I don’t want to become another statistic. With my new found awareness about the disease, I am taking positive, proactive action to maximize my health. Awareness and personal action are key elements to prevention, early detection, and the early treatments that save lives.

I’ve now been on five previous Cancer Climbs for Prostate Awareness and I’m looking forward to this year’s challenge in the Alps. I had never considered myself a mountain climber but I’m in pretty good shape and this is a great way of giving something back while learning more about how to prevent prostate cancer. I’m up for the challenge and hope you will support my efforts.

Ralph Lake is a retired engineer and resides in Austin, Texas. He is on the board of directors of the Prostate Awareness Foundation. Ralph is an avid fisherman and has been an outdoorsman all his life.

Ron MacConnell

This is my third Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness. I participated as the expedition quartermaster on the 2004 Yosemite expedition and the 2006 Colorado expedition.

This year I’m an “official” participant and member of the trekking team. My PSA is low and I want to keep it that way, this is a great way to learn how to take better care of my prostate health and also help a cause I believe. It’s also a great way for me to keep myself physically fit and active.

Ron MacConnell is a retired educator and administrator for the NYC school system.

Rick Mohovich

I am really looking forward to the challenges offered by this year’s Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness in the Alps. For me this will be an extra special expedition because my son Shawn will be joining me on the mountain. He will probably jog to the top. Among other endeavors he’s a marathon runner and an inspiration to me. This will really be a “Mohovich Family” affair. Both my wonderful wife, who has supported me throughout this prostate cancer odyssey of mine, and my daughter Lynette, an airline pilot, will be there with us in spirit.

What I have learned since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years back is that you have to be your own doctor. There is so much information out there to absorb both conventional and alternative and it continues to evolve with time. You need to go to monthly prostate cancer support groups, read as much as you can on the subject and do your due diligence.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer over ten years ago. I’ve had a radical prostatectomy since then and continue to get check ups regularly to make sure I am not getting myself in trouble.

I really look forward to these climbing expeditions each year and I’m proud to be involved once again.
Rick Mohovich is a general contractor, carpenter and builder from New Jersey.

Shawn Mohovich

I’m honored to be on this year’s Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness. Especially since my father Rick will also be along. This is my second climbing expedition for PAF. I really look forward to be involved each year. It’s been a great way to support a good cause while learning about preventative measures. My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years back, the fact that there is a hereditary component to prostate cancer concerns me.

Shawn Mohovich is an architect, builder and avid adventurer. In 2002 he finished the NYC Marathon, a great feat since he does not consider himself a runner. He founded an organization that leads volunteers to small villages, towns and cities in Latin American countries to build and repair homes and community buildings in impoverished areas.

Bill and Sally Gauditz

I first learned about the Prostate Awareness Foundation and the Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness expeditions from my husband Bill. Ken Malik, the founder of PAF went to high school and college with Bill. We were shocked to find out Ken has prostate cancer, we were relieved to find out he is doing well. We also like the pro-active approach that the foundation recommends for prostate cancer prevention and healing.

As the manager of the Denver Tennis Club, a large portion of our membership are men, many of who have prostate concerns, or at least interest in what to do to prevent problems.

The climb is a great way for me to help build awareness in men I care about.

We both love the mountains and when we found out we could help a good cause we wanted to be involved. This will be our second climb for PAF. Last year we climbed in our own backyard with PAF when we climbed Mt Elbert and Mt Massive, two of Colorado’s Fourteeners.

We are looking forward to this year’s technical climb challenge on Mt Blanc.

Thanks for your support of our efforts.

Bill operates a successful remodeling business in Denver. Sally is the manager of the Denver Tennis Club. Both are avid outdoor enthusiasts.

John Loesing

Only recently has awareness about prostate cancer begun to take hold. It’s my hope that focused events like the Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness will help increase this awareness.

This is my second cancer climb. I was on the first expedition to Mt Aconcagua in 2001. It was an adventure I will never forget and I’m looking forward to this years climb in the Alps.

My mother passed away at 78 from lung cancer and my father at the same age from prostate cancer. I know I have a higher risk factor for contacting cancer than the average person. I began taking my PSA test when I was 38 years old because of this family history and also due to the fact that I have had recurrent bouts of prostatitis. I understand this can lead to prostate cancer if not treated correctly.

As a journalist, I look forward to being this year’s communication manager and sending stories about our climbing team and its adventures back to the PAF website in the States.

John Loesing is a free lance journalist working in Southern California. He leads an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Justin Lukasavige

I’m often asked why I got involved with the Cancer Climb for Prostate Awareness expeditions. After all, prostate cancer does not run in my family. The answer is simple really. It has grown out of a need that goes way beyond me. I often ask people if they know anyone who has been infected with prostate cancer. Almost every single response is a ‘yes’. If prostate cancer does not run in their family, then they almost always know someone or some family that has been infect or lost a loved one. My best friends grandfather died from prostate cancer, I’d like to pay tribute to his memory.

I believe that one person can make a difference if they just reach out to others to join in the fight. With your help, we can raise money and teach the next generation about discovering prostate cancer early enough to be treated with good results. With your help, I believe we can develop a cure. But it goes beyond me. I can’t do it by myself and I need your help.

I’m climbing because I’m tired of seeing lives ended much too early and families torn apart. Instead of watching it happen, I’m one of many trying to make a difference in our world today. Thank you for your support.

Justin Lukasavige runs a successful business in North Carolina while raising a young family with his wife.

For more information about the Mont Blanc trip, call 415-675-5661 or