Andy Knapp -- Survivor

In today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune I profile Andy Knapp, a 60-year-old retail buyer at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis and a lifelong adventurer who’s now fighting cancer.

The story focuses on Knapp’s life in the wilds as well as his fight over the past five years with tough-to-treat renal cell carcinoma kidney cancer.

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Knapp biking to Alaska in the ‘60s.

Can perseverance and fortitude forged from a lifetime in the outdoors boost your strength in other parts of life? For Knapp the answer is a big Yes.

He has fought kidney cancer with the same type of strategy he’d apply to a tough mountain climb: Each painful therapy, each new experimental drug is a pitch to scale on a steep face. Kick one foot into the snow, rest, breathe, then step up and kick again.

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Knapp and his team on the summit of Mt. McKinley.

The story also includes some high adventure, including descriptions of Knapp’s 1972 solo 502-mile mountain-range-traversing journey in the Brooks Range of Alaska; eight-week-long bicycle rides; mountain climbs past 20,000 feet; and kayak trips around the inland ocean of Lake Superior.

See Knapp’s full story here:

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1972: Knapp hikes solo 502 miles through Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range
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Andy Knapp, December, 2007
Posted by Robert - 12/12/2007 11:27 AM

Great story. I’ve always believed that if someone is strong enough the mind is one of the best tools you’ve got when combating terrible illnesses, he proves it.

Posted by bill jacobson - 09/28/2009 07:36 AM

Andy was an early member of Minnesota Rovers, an outing club established at the University of Minnesota in 1954. Many of us got our start in camping, biking, canoeing, eetc. in Rovers. Rovers still exists as an independent club. Early members are proud of members like Andy who went on to adventures in the outdoors.

Posted by Ken - 10/09/2009 07:14 AM

Great story, a man survived RCC and had such a adventure, amazing…my renal cell carcinoma site

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