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Spokane Physician Dr. Lisa Bliss Attempts Epic Death Valley Crossing, Raises Funds for Homeless Youth

Dr. Lisa Bliss
509.954.9753 or

Bridget Cannon
Youth Programs Director
Volunteers of America
509.624.2378 or

Spokane, Wash. – June 23, 2011 – Sports and spine physician Dr. Lisa Bliss will take on an epic challenge this July 25th when she attempts to be the first woman (and second person) ever to cross Death Valley solo, unsupported and self-contained—meaning she will run alone, without outside help of any kind, carrying all her food water and supplies in a 230-lb cart.

The journey from the Badwater Basin to the summit of Mt. Whitney will take her from the lowest point in the contiguous U.S. to the highest—an altitude change of more than 14,000 feet. Lisa will cross more than 135 miles of asphalt followed by an 11-mile climb to the summit of the mountain for a total of 146 miles in blistering desert temperatures up to 130 degrees.

Lisa has built a career in the science of “ultrasports”—road races that take place over distances that boggle the mind. In addition to leading the medical teams for some of the toughest ultramarathons, Lisa has run thousands and thousands of miles in races all across the globe. She has even won the “world’s toughest foot race”, the Badwater Ultramarathon, which covers some of the same terrain. If anyone is qualified to take on this challenge, it is Lisa Bliss.

Why would Lisa want to do such a thing? To help the homeless youth at Crosswalk.

“I believe with all my heart and mind and body and soul that there is no failure in trying, for as long as we keep trying.” That’s something she wants to prove to the youth at Crosswalk teen shelter—both by making this attempt and also by attempting to raise $10,000 to fund the GED and college scholarship programs at the shelter.

All the money raised by her endeavor will give homeless youth the opportunity to try to overcome their circumstances through education. The funds will pay for GED fees, textbooks and other education expenses.

“As I run some of the tougher inclines,” says Lisa. “I want to remind myself that while this run is a voluntary challenge, there are so many homeless youth that face involuntary challenges. I’m doing this for them. Education will give them choices and I want to help make that possible.”

Lisa wants to show the youth that when you choose to keep moving toward a glimmer of hope, focusing on any minute possibility of success—rather than focusing on the obstacles in the way—you succeed simply in the trying. Join Lisa by making a secure, tax-deductible donation at



Read about Lisa’s training and preparations on her personal blog at

Learn about Crosswalk teen shelter and its scholarship programs

Read about Marshall Ulrich's unaided, self-contained crossing (the only successful attempt to date).

Lisa's endeavor is sponsored by Drymax and Road I.D.


Volunteers of America of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho is one of the region’s oldest and most diversified human service charities. We nurture, support, and uplift the human spirit by working with children and youth, the elderly, veterans, homeless individuals and families, and others to empower them in reaching their full potential. Among our programs are Crosswalk, Hope House, Alexandria’s House, Aston-Bleck Apartments, Flaherty House, Independent Living, Project Safe Place and housing for veterans for veterans.