The aim of this study was to use an ethnographic case study approach to explore breast cancer survivors’ experiences scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro from a posttraumatic growth perspective. Three breast cancer survivors who participated in interviews and observations during a nine-day climb on the mountain were included in this study. Findings are presented first as three individual case studies and then offered as a cross-case analysis to emphasize themes that illustrated the women’s shared experiences of growing from adversity. Participation in the climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro provided an opportunity for the women to (a) nurture priorities, (b) foster self-belief, and (c) cultivate connections. Future research should conduct investigations into the role of physical activity as a facilitator of the posttraumatic growth process.


Breast Cancer, Posttraumatic Growth, Physical Activity, Lived Experience, Women’s Health, Case Study

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.