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Bucks County family returns home after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about ovarian cancer

Bucks County family returns home after Mt. Kilimanjaro trip to raise awareness about ovarian cancer
Bucks County family returns home after Mt. Kilimanjaro trip to raise awareness about ovarian cancer 02:47

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Bucks County family is back home after an incredible journey, climbing the world's highest mountain to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

This Bensalem mom survived ovarian cancer but many of her friends didn't so she decided to climb Kilimanjaro for them and it became a family affair for her husband and twin sons.

The Hussey twins and their parents are back in Bensalem from the trip of a lifetime.

Their TWINspirational team climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Team Twinspirational to the top of #mtkilimanjaro for @nocc_national - first the Bensalem family fought ovarian cancer...

Posted by Stephanie Stahl on Thursday, September 21, 2023

"Even when I was 19,341 feet up in the air and could barely think, I remembered to grab a rock so I could remember this moment forever," son Carl Hussey said.

The trip to the world's highest mountain peak was with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

"The hardest thing I've ever done," Christine Hussey said. "Having gone through stage 4 ovarian cancer I thought I was pretty hardy and pretty strong. It was a 10-hour trek up and I questioned my sanity quite a bit."

Christine was diagnosed and treated for advanced ovarian cancer in 2016 right after her mother was diagnosed. Together they joined a support group and are now the only ones alive.

"I think I still struggle with survivor's guilt," Christine Hussey said. "I wanted to honor and memorialize my friends that lost their battle. These are the people that I climbed for."

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The T-shirts and flags are all taken to the top of Kilimanjaro along with pictures and handmade angels.

"Climbing Kilimanjaro I felt like I'd be a heck of a lot closer to them," Christine Hussey said.

Being close to cancer is something the 15-year-old twins have learned to live with.

"It was scary but at the time we didn't really know, as we got older I'm like wow we could have lost my mother," son Curt Hussey said.

"It's very emotional to think we're here we're able to go with children and do this so that other families don't go through what we did," husband Bill Hussey said.

Christine credits Penn with her survival.

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"It's just amazing with what Christine's been through to see her accomplish something like this," Dr. Kara Maxwell said. "This is what we live for."

Dr. Maxwell with Penn's Basser Center says the new horizon for treating ovarian cancer comes with genetic testing and targeted therapy.

"All women with ovarian cancer should get genetic testing," Maxwell said.

For the Hussey family who conquered Kilimanjaro and cancer, it's now about helping others.

"I don't want anyone else to go through what we been through," Christine Hussey said.

Christine urges women to know the signs of ovarian cancer, a family history being one of the biggest risks.

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