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Three HBS students are out to set a world record by scaling the seven tallest mountains on seven continents in seven months — all to raise $5 million to help fight childhood cancer.

The idea for the Mountains for Miracles expedition came to joint-degree student John Serafini (HBS and Kennedy School of Government ’07) after his sister’s bout with thyroid cancer. She was successfully treated at Children’s Hospital Boston last June. Grateful for her recovery, Serafini decided to combine his interest in mountain climbing with a desire to raise a significant amount of money for pediatric cancer research programs.

Joining him as teammates are Boyd Bishop (HBS ’06), Andy Murphy (HBS/KSG ’07), and freelance cameraman Brad Clement. A volunteer support group, including many HBS students, will help with logistics and fundraising for the expedition’s nonprofit charity. The team is making plans for a marketing and media blitz to raise awareness of their efforts before the first climb in late December.

If all goes as planned, the climbers will conquer all seven peaks within 198 days, surpassing the record of 214 days set in 1990. The seven mountains in order of ascent are Mount Aconcagua (South America), Mount Vinson (Antarctica), Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Kosciuszko (Australia), Mount Everest (Asia), Mount Elbrus (Europe), and Mount McKinley (North America). Funds raised will go to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund in Boston.

“We’re trying to set a record, but the main purpose of what we are doing is to raise money for pediatric cancer research,” says Serafini. Learn more about the upcoming expeditions at www.mountainsformiracles.org.

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Featured Alumni

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