The Kilimanjaro Expedition is proud to welcome Team Fox member Roger Long.
Roger lives by the principle: “Don’t allow other people to define you; you have the ultimate power to define who and what you are.”
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 36, Roger watched his health deteriorate over the next eight years as lack of mobility led to additional health problems.
What happened next, Roger describes as his “Alive Day.” On September 22, 2010, he came to a fork in his life’s road – one path leading to death, the other to a new life.
“That day, I began the process of not only reclaiming the life I had before PD and the associated problems, but a better life that included all of the lessons learned from eight long years of struggle. A commitment to regular exercise and proper nutrition, and maintaining a positive attitude were essential to the turnaround.”
Roger’s new course began small, a three quarter mile loop near his home without the assistance of a cane. Walking became part of Roger’s daily regimen, and as he added more distance each time, reaching the next milestone became more and more addictive. Within four months, he achieved his first major milestone, a 10-mile hike that brought him to his first summit, a large rock by a lake near his home.
Roger describes reaching the summit as pure exhilaration, something that one should enjoy and savor. It gave him the opportunity to take a 360-degree view of his surroundings and his life, to look upward and find his next summit.
From there, Roger challenged himself to trek the distance of a marathon. Within six months of his first summit, and less than a year since his “Alive Day,” Roger hiked 26.2 miles while wearing a 25lb backpack.
Roger’s milestones are impressive:
- More than 1,300 miles walked and/or hiked since September 2010
- 151 miles hiked in one month (Dec 2011)
- 26.2 miles hiked in one day (October 14, 2011)
- 27.2 miles hiked in one day (February 25,2012)
And his transformation is equally inspiring:
- 90+ lbs lost
- Diabetes – gone
- Sleep apnea – gone
- Reflux – gone
- High cholesterol – now in normal range
- Parkinson’s disease – went from being very symptomatic and needing multiple medications to being mildly symptomatic without the use of medication
Roger recently joined the Team Fox Kilimanjaro Expedition and has set his sights on the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain. The entire Fox Foundation wishes him the best of luck on this summit, and all that will follow.
Learn more about Roger’s story on his blog and you can also support his fundraising efforts on his Team Fox page. Learn more about the Kilimanjaro Expedition and how you can get involved.