Ain't No Mountain High Enough!

$9,575 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 78 months

I've always had a bucket list.  Topping the list was to reach Everest Base Camp.  However, a series of health events caused me to "scratch" Everest off my list. 

(1) In 2000, I was 44 years old and I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Even after treatment I still believed I could get to Base Camp.

(2) In 2009, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.  When you're told by a doctor that you have an incurable disease that will progress over time, all you can do is put you head in your hands and cry.  This threw me for a loop, but in the back of my mind I had not given up hope of completing my bucket list.

(3) In 2011 I was again diagnosed with breast cancer, this time a more aggressive type.  That little black cloud just seemed to keep following me.  This time my treatment was more difficult, and I finally realized that Base Camp was a pipe dream.

I finished chemotherapy in March 2012.  So far, so good.  As I said, however, there is no cure for Parkinson's.  Medication, diet, and exercise are key components in keeping my Parkinson's under control.

So life went on and the dream of Everest faded away.  That is, until a friend told me about the Scripps Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center in La Jolla, California.  Miracles do happen, and here is my story.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

When I was going through chemotherapy last winter I was re-united with Greg, an old high school friend who also was going through chemo for lung cancer.  Sadly, he passed away in August.  While talking to Greg's brother I mentioned my bucket list and the fact that I would never complete it.  Incredibly, he told me that a group of Parkinson's patients from Scripps will be going to Base Camp in 2013!  He also told me that the same group summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro last year.  I wrote a letter to the Scripps team in early September to express my interest in joining them; two weeks later they said they would be "honored" (I think it's the other way around) to have me.  So : this is how it all began!

Climbing For A Cause: Summit4StemCell

The Scripps Everest group is led by Sherrie Gould, a nurse practitioner at the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center.  Sherrie works with Dr. Melissa Houser who, along with Jeanne Loring, Ph.D. at the the Scripps Center For Regenerative Medicine/Loring Lab, is conducting non-embryonic stem cell research that will result in a viable treatment for Parkinson's. I recently visited Scripps and I had a chance to tour the Loring Lab and to meet some of the other folks who are going to Everest with me.  I saw up close the work that Drs. Loring and Houser are doing and it truly is amazing.  In fact, the Nobel Price was recently awarded to a Japanese doctor who is working on the very same thing!

Sherrie was instrumental in forming Summit4StemCell, a grass roots organization whose goal is to raise money for this research. In addition, we all hope that the work of Summit4StemCell will inspire people living with Parkinson's to move beyond their physical limitations.  From Kilimanjaro to Everest Base Camp, we all climb for the same cause! 

Donations

All donations received will support the following:

(1) Summit4StemCell (50% of all donations)

(2) The trip and the cost of equipment for the team (the remaining 50%)

We welcome both corporate and individual sponsors.  Any donations that exceed our goal of $50,000 will be donated to Summit4StemCell.  It might sound ambitious, but the cause is worth every penny!  My hope is that we exceed our goal so that we can continue the Scripps research and see it come to fruition.

I've attached the first installment of a video documentary series that will follow me and the group from Training Base Camp!

© All content Evelyn G. Heilbrunn

Thank you in advance for your generous donations.
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Greetings, all. Sorry I've been out of pocket; things are crazy busy right now, and I don't think it will let up until the holidays! Twins graduating from high school, 40th high school reunion (gulp), hiking trips, you name it.

I'm 123 days from starting my adventure of a lifetime. 3.5 months. Am I getting the jitters? You bet! Everest is daunting, to say the least. I hope I'll be ready in so many ways. As I train, I'm learning the adjustments I'll have to make during the trek; slow and steady pace, keep my eyes on the prize, and bring handwarmers!

Thank you all for your generous support. Please know that your donations go to a cause that will help millions of people who live with Parkinson's. As a reminder, you can learn more about the amazing research at the following link. Remember, it uses NON-EMBRYONIC stem cells that are grown from the patient's own skin. So very cool, and so very promising.

www.summit4stemcell.com
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I'm still on track, believe it or not. I leave for Katmandu in 150 days! When this adventure started I was at 14 months. This summer will be so busy that October 6 -- E Day -- will be here before I know it.
A last "family vacation" in early August -- Alaska, here we come! Then all of the kids (yes all, for those of you who knew me when) are off to college. With three of them spreading across the country the logistics boggle my mind.
A few other things thrown in for good measure -- my first trip back to New Orleans since I graduated from Tulane Law School in 1989, my (gulp) 40th high school reunion, and trips out west for our "big" training hikes in the Sierras and El Capitan.
So, on I go. I plan to stay healthy (except for those damned M&M's) and press forward.
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For your viewing pleasure. Our "kickoff" hiking weekend!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1SXjiYE238
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Greetings, all. I'm still on track for Everest Base Camp this October, and training is getting intense (a relative term). I'm lousy at posting updates but I'll show up now and again!

For any donations going forward, please donate directly to summit4stemcell.com, my Everest group. On that site you can read about the research at Scripps; you also can see some amazing videos about our adventure.

Again, please go to
summit4stemcell.com
for information and to donate to a wonderful cause.

Thanks, everyone!
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Read a Previous Update
Betsy Hampton
77 months ago

Yeah Ev! Go Girl!

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Betsy Hampton
78 months ago

Makes me feel guilty...need to start a regime!

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Larry Vaughn
78 months ago

Go Evvie Go!

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$9,575 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 78 months
Created October 23, 2012
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DB
$500
David Barkan
72 months ago

Go Evvie!

$25
Anonymous
74 months ago
LW
$100
Lynne Bright Williams
74 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story. I passed through Katmandu many years ago - it was magical. Best of luck to you, and enjoy the trip!

BT
$250
Brian Trotier
76 months ago

I am sure you will make it to the top. I am also equally sure you will lose your cell phone somewhere along the way.

AG
$100
Anne Goyette
77 months ago

Yoohoo Evvie! I am rooting for you!

$50
Anonymous
77 months ago
SR
$200
Silvia Gonzalez Roman
77 months ago

Evvie, May you reach your goal of hiking to Mount Everest Base Camp while raising funds for Parkinson's Research! Silvia

$25
Anonymous
77 months ago
Betsy Hampton
77 months ago

Yeah Ev! Go Girl!

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Betsy Hampton
78 months ago

Makes me feel guilty...need to start a regime!

+ Read More
Larry Vaughn
78 months ago

Go Evvie Go!

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