I've climbed with some of the best climbers in the world, more importantly, to me, they are some of the best people in the world. That's another reason why I climb. Jim Wickwire
I have not read a quote that has more truthful than this as adversity, despite its nature, brings out the best in people. I have seen this when climbing with others as we are pushed to our physical limits, and I have seen this in my family years after my grandma passed from lung cancer although I was too young to remember.
I vaguely remember seeing how sick she was and how much that scared me at the time, but I could never remember the good times we shared even if I tried. I climb for the American Lung Association to give people the opportunities to make happy memories with the people they love as we all deserve the right to a happy, healthy life.
I vividly remember my first mountaineering experience from Paradise to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier. We left my college at 11:00 pm to drive to Mt. Rainier National Forest and got there at 2:00 am. I had not had even a full minute of sleep before we were preparing to begin our alpine start. We started climbing at 3:00 am. I remember how the light began to touch of the forest and eventually the mountain.The air felt crisp in my chest and I was painfully aware of how steep the hill we were climbing was. When we got to the top of the hill I could hear the rumble of rocks falling in the distance but couldn’t see them. I just was grateful I was not in their path. I began to think, “Why am I out here?” I only wondered more as I spent all my energy getting to Camp Muir when, in fact, I was only half way through my battle with the mountain. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the Paradise parking lot as one sweaty, sore, tired mess with ten blisters on my feet that I had the answer to my question, because why not!
Last January, I had the privilege to go to India for two weeks. After seeing people, women especially, risking everything to follow their dreams, I knew I had to take full advantage of my opportunities to follow my passions. I now believe it to be morally wrong to squander potential when others don’t have the choice to take advantage of their own potential. Again, I climb because everyone has a right to have a happy, healthy life, but more specifically, I climb for those who can’t. I have done nothing to deserve living in this healthy, physically capably body. The least I can do is to give my time to this charity to give others a chance at leading physically capable lives.
My goal is to raise $3,900 before my summit attempt on Mount Hood May 30-31st. Every donation can make an impact in the life of an individual! Chances are that individual is a relative, coworker, or neighbor fighting silently a debilitating lung disease. The American Lung Association impacts real individuals by providing community based programs,fighting for cleaner air standards, and funding life saving research. We all have the ability to change lives, help me on my goal to directly change the lives of people in our community!