After a few more weeks, Lori emails the great news. She can expand her team of MS and companion climbers to include people with Parkinson's. Lori said it is all about “helping others step beyond their diagnosis”. This would bring Lori’s team to more than thirty and Lori wanted to get everyone acquainted quickly. Lori as team leader had a lot to organize and disseminate due to the size of the expedition. Lori was very organized. We received her past monthly update that included how we should begin preparing to climb a big mountain. I felt we were in good hands with Lori’s experience of climbing the seven summits and I was excited to climb with such an accomplished mountaineer. We could anticipate monthly updates to keep us on track with training, nutrition, and gear recommendations as well as inspiration each step of the way.
There was a lot happening behind the scenes. Lori was in discussions with a documentary film company and making connections with potential sponsors. We still hadn’t heard back from our sponsorship proposals but it was still early. We put in a grant for the virtual team meetings. Things were moving along.
We had also heard back from Nan and her husband Doug that they would like to join the team. Since Lori's team was almost full, we only had a few lucky spots for PD. Nan was very excited about the climb and it felt good to bring a new opportunity to the PD community. Nan recommended John Carlin and his wife Martha. John and Martha are from Colorado and had also cycled across Iowa. I hadn’t met them but Nan confirmed with Jay Alberts that they could manage the climb based on his experience with them on the long ride across Iowa. I passed this information along to Lori. Lori's team now included six more climbers. We paid the deposit to Alpine Ascents and plotted out our next nine months of training.