For some family
tragedy is a crushing burden and for some it is endured
and overcome. For Pittsburgh native Dr. Jim States
overcoming his mother's death from cancer as a youngster
led him to draw strength from his mother's struggle and
his father's determination. He vowed he would make her
fight a positive thing in his life, and somehow he did.
He and his sister basically raised themselves in the woods
of Pennsylvania following their mother's death, according to Jim. A life in
the woods meant climbing and for Jim those hills kept getting steeper and
taller, culminating in his summit of Everest on May 14, 1983 as a member of a
German/America expedition led by Gerhard Lenser. Among Jim's many other climbs
were the ill-fated and tragic expedition to Nanda Devi which cost Devi Unsoeld
her life, Makalu (1980), Kota Kinabalu, and Makalu (1992).
One of the side effects of his mother's
illness and her occupation as a nurse was Jim's early interest in medicine.
After being unable to obtain medical help as a teenager Jim vowed that he
would grow up to provide that help to kids himself. He earned chemistry degree
from Bucknell University in 1967 and graduated from Philadelphia's Temple
University Medical School in 1971. In 1978 he established a private practice
dealing exclusively with the treatment of teenagers and young adults.