On July 4th at 3:50 PM local time, Barbara Harris reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak – 19,341 vertical feet high above Tanzania, Africa. Before setting out on her climb, Barbara set two main goals for herself: to reach the summit of the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and to fundraise over $19,341—a dollar for every foot she would climb-- for Parkinson’s research. In that moment atop Kili, she could proudly say she had accomplished both!
Inspired by her two parents, Norman and Joanne Harris, who are both living with Parkinson’s, this trip was one of personal significance for Barbara. Norman was diagnosed 7 years ago with Joanne’s diagnosis coming 4 years later. Both are able to control their symptoms with medication, but the disease is starting to progress more rapidly for Norman, impacting his quality of life greatly. As a “big” birthday approached, Barbara saw the Kilimanjaro climb as the perfect opportunity to celebrate her parents by challenging herself and fundraising for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. “It was by far the most difficult physical feat I ever accomplished, made painful by the high altitude for which there is no real way to train,” Barbara noted. “But it was nothing in comparison to what so many with Parkinson’s live with.”
Barbara was originally interested in participating in the Kilimanjaro climb with Team Fox scheduled for January 2014, but her birthday plans had her traveling to Africa earlier. She had an amazing experience, but she commented that “the only thing that would have made this trip cooler would have been climbing with a community of people linked to a common cause, so would relish the idea of joining an actual Team Fox trip in the future.”
Team Fox has partnered with Embark Adventures to guide our January 2014 Kilimanjaro Summit trip and hopes to include future trips as part of an adventure series, all to give thrill seekers a way to fundraise for Parkinson’s research. The 8-day January Kilimanjaro climb still has spots available, and Team Fox is eager to help you make this amazing expedition a reality. For more information on how to be a part of the life changing adventure, join our informational webinar Thursday, August 1 at 2PM EST. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.