Maine Cancer Outdoor Adventures helping people impacted by cancer

OLD TOWN, Maine (WABI) - "When that journey is over it still consumes your life."

Christina Parrish is talking about the journey of cancer.

For Christina, helping others through cancer has become her mission through the Purple Iris Foundation. And, she's not alone.

"I lost my friend to cancer."

Along with her friend, Barb Novelli, they formed the non-profit, Purple Iris Foundation.

"It's everything that I thought it would be and then some. And we're still growing," said Novelli.

Growing and taking their mission off the beaten path....literally.

"That's how it all started last year with 'let's get outdoors.'"

So, that's exactly what they did. For a year now, they've been climbing mountains and braving rapids with the Maine Cancer Outdoor Adventures.

"My best friend past away from pancreatic cancer last July."

For Kris Lovley, nature holds great meaning in her life and treasured memories. The recent whitewater rafting adventure was with the company Jimmy used to be a guide for.

"This was my 19th trip and the first 18 were with Jimmy."

"To me it's the support and not hiding in my house and to continue challenging myself," said Shelly Spear-Hamilton, a caregiver.

Shelly was Jimmy's finance. She's also part of the adventure group and so is Jimmy's son, Josh.

"My mother-in-law passed away almost seven years ago of pancreatic cancer," said Andrea Young.

Julia and her mom, Andrea have gone on multiple adventures.

"It's a great experience. It's fun," said Julia.

For Christina, it's also a way to cope with PTSD. It's something she and other cancer survivors face.

"PTSD is something that you deal with on a daily basis. I think for me the outdoors is some solace of that. It makes you one with things bigger than yourself."

"We've made new friends and family because of going through cancer together," said Shelly.

You can find more information on their Facebook page and at