Thursday, August 18, 2011

January 2011 Kilimanjaro Kick Off Event Big Success

Lori's inspirational presentation was awesome. The Mountaineers conference center was a perfect venue to have the event. One quarter of the room has a floor to ceiling climbing wall as well as climbing anchors around the perimeter of the large conference room.  After introductions, Lori entered the room from the back to the sounds of the high winds of Mt. Everest blowing as she slowly walked into the room. Lori was dressed in her full summit gear as pictured. The high winds could not muffle the sound of Lori's breathing. One deep breath...another deep breath...another step. It was like being there beside Lori as she climbed toward Mt. Everest's summit. You could almost feel the effort that it took to walk each step to the top of the world. Lori clipped into a rope from her climbing harness to make the traverse around the room. She made the traverse safely and when she reached the front of the room, the wind died down and Lori removed her Everest gear to reveal a tiny mountain climber dressed  in a formal business suit. 

Lori's presentation was very inspirational and empathic for anyone with a neurological condition wanting to explore the world. I highly recommend Lori as a motivational speaker to any organization wanting to inspire their employees to believe in themselves to reach beyond their perceived limits.

The kickoff for virtual Team PD Kilimanjaro was off to a good start. Monique's grant submission was accepted and provided funding for the virtual team and the kick off event. We partnered with the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation and the virtual team would become an extension to the already well established Team Parkinson's. The Northwest Parkinson's Foundation has a long history with cyclists to both raise awareness about PD and also organizing a team to ride in the Seattle to Portland bike ride. The Northwest Parkinson's Foundation has served the PD community of the northwest for over a decade and are unique in their focus on care instead of cure to help people with the day to day challenges of living with PD. (

The virtual team would include the PD and MS community offering monthly meetings to provide support and encouragement for the members to train as we train for Kilimanjaro. We set up and online tracking group through the President's Challenge physical activity website. We helped some attendees set up their log in and passwords. We didn't know how the virtual team would work out. It was the first community based exercise program for PD of it's kind, at least in Seattle. We would lead the charge to increase the physical activity levels of our community living with PD. We encouraged families and friends to join in and support those living with PD. Our goal was merely to increase awareness about the benefits of exercise for PD and MS and to provide training information through a supportive meeting format.

The Northwest Parkinson's Foundation staff  (Colleen, Alecha, Elizabeth, Joe, Monique and volunteers) organized all aspects of the logistics of the kick off event making the afternoon a very big success with over 160 in attendance. Two of Lori's friends surprised Lori and attended the event. What a nice surprise. We hosted a dinner after the program with the foundation and friends. We had a great evening with stories of high adventure.

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