I climb in memory of my beloved husband, Chris Reiner, and to help support people with lung disease.
Through groundbreaking research, advocacy and critical education, the money we raise will provide lifesaving treatments and dramatically improve the quality of life for more than 36 million Americans diagnosed with lung disease.
Please support my fundraising efforts and be part of making a difference in the lives of lung disease patients and their caregivers. Every donation takes us one step closer to a world free of lung disease. The need is urgent, so please join me today and help us save more lives.
Dear friends and family,
Quick headline: I am hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in honor of Chris Reiner and to raise crucial funds for the American Lung Association and I would love your help!
Two weeks ago marked a year without the amazing Chris Reiner and boy, do Elsie, Emmett, and I continue to miss him. Getting through this past year of firsts was challenging and painful for all of us. Now the year of seconds begins; unfortunately, there's no magic that happens at the end of the first year to make anything suddenly easier. In fact, in many ways life somehow has felt even harder as the reality of a long future without our beloved Chris/Daddy becomes reality. I have been asking myself how to move forward from here and the only thing that feels right is to keep finding ways to remember and honor Chris and others like him who are battling lung cancer, which remains the leading cancer killer. Lung cancer affects so many people, and all I want to do is to try to help others to get the next important drug or procedure or gene therapy that could be lifesaving. I know Chris would be completely on board with this as he was passionate about following advancements made in the fight against lung cancer.
I’ve been so grateful for the support of all of you in our annual walks for Lungevity. I am now ready to take on an even bigger fundraising goal to benefit the American Lung Association, a respected advocacy, research, and education group that has been operating for 115 years. Its mission is to create a world free of lung disease and they champion efforts to fight lung cancer, asthma, pneumonia, Covid-19, COPD, and complications from vaping and smoking. The organization also advocates for clean air for all and works to ensure that our air is safe and free of dangerous pollution.
As I said in his eulogy, Chris Reiner always has a plan. And this plan feels very much like fate. I believe that Chris led me to this next challenge. Let me explain.
In early January, as the anniversary of Chris's passing was approaching, I was struggling to find things to look forward to and decided I needed to set my sights on a goal that would encourage me to keep moving forward. Hiking has always provided me with peace and over the last year has been the activity that lets me feel closest to Chris. Leaving rocks for him throughout the White Mountains has been an act of healing that I want to continue for many, many years to come. As I started imagining the big hikes throughout the world that I have always wanted to do, I immediately thought of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ever since my Peace Corps days in West Africa, this has been on my bucket list. And I had always hoped that I would return to Africa with Chris to show him my time there, but sadly we never had the opportunity to do so. I started talking about my idea in early January and wondered if I could realistically pull this off for my 50th birthday in a few years.
And then fate intervened and it felt like Chris was urging me to tackle this goal sooner rather than later, and in the most meaningful way possible. As I sat in the kitchen scrolling through my Facebook feed, I immediately saw a picture of hikers on the top of a mountain holding a big American Lung Association sign. Tears filled my eyes when I clicked in and read the caption: First Time Ever - American Lung Association climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise much needed funds! All I could say was "Chris, is this you talking to me?" I believe he was.
I called the American Lung Association the next morning and secured the 9th of ten spots to be on this amazing team of fundraisers united by our passion for fighting lung disease; many of us will be hiking in honor of loved ones who have died from lung cancer. In August 2023 I will use my lungs to climb way up high to an altitude of 19,341 feet. I will carry rocks painted with Chris's initials and will leave them along our route, and hopefully on the summit. It feels like this was meant to be - to do the thing I love, in honor of the man I love, on a continent that I love, raising funds for a very important cause that means so much to our family.
I would be so honored and grateful if you would join me in donating to the American Lung Association in memory of my beloved Chris Reiner to help so many people in the US who suffer from lung disease. Please feel free to share this email with others to help me make it to my fundraising goal.
I have been surrounded by so much love during the last year and during Chris’s illness. I will carry you all in my heart as I prepare for this challenge and look forward to sharing updates along the way.
With love and gratitude,