We're pleased to shared this guest post from Team Fox member Roger Long.. Below, Roger brings us up to date on his preparations to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro and shares a serendipitous moment from the top of Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado.
The gear is piling up Ė boots, cold-weather clothes, rain gear, boots, backpack, duffel bag, trekking poles, etc. Flight arrangements have been made, and Iím in the process of receiving the requisite vaccinations for travel to Tanzania. Iíve read multiple books about Kilimanjaro and have watched dozens of relevant videos on YouTube. Summiting Kilimanjaro is one of the first things I think about when I wake, consumes much of my thoughts throughout the day, and inevitably enters my subconscious as I drift off to sleep at night. Our team is getting to know each other via social media and e-mail. With roughly seven weeks remaining before the Team Fox Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition begins (August 23-30), the excitement is palpable.
Since committing to take on this challenge nearly five months ago I have grown. Like most who commit to making a difference in the quest to find a cure for Parkinsonís disease by becoming part of Team Fox, I have been enriched by the people with whom I have come into contact. Fundraising activities with friends and family have brought us closer, and new friends have been made. Not only are we raising funds to find the cure, weíre raising awareness about the battle those with Parkinsonís are facing and the work MJFF is doing to end the fight.
Part of my training regimen for Mt. Kilimanjaro here in Colorado is climbing 14ers (mountains with an elevation greater than 14,000 ft.). On a beautiful day in early June, I made it to the summit of my first 14er, Mt. Bierstadt, approximately 60 miles west of Denver. When I reached the summit, the first person I saw was a man named Mark, who had traveled from Michigan to climb Mt. Bierstadt with a family member. We congratulated each other on making it to the top. Then he told me, "I have Parkinson's and I just climbed my first 14er!" He was floored when I told him the same. Of all the mountains, of all the days, we were there at the same time. He was excited to learn of our teamís quest to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, and promised to share it with members of the Parkinsonís community where he lives.
Mt. Kilimanjaro has been called ďeverymanís Everest,Ē as it is the most attainable of the Seven Summits. By no means does that mean that it will be easy. As a team, our goal is to not only reach Uhuru Peak, but to do our part to make it possible for many others to reach their own summits. Our driving force is that the funds raised from our Kilimanjaro climb will make it possible for Parkinsonís to be eradicated in the near future.
Please consider supporting the Team Fox Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition, as we continue to train and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.