On the 23 May 2009, Lori Schneider from Wisconsin, USA became the first person in the world, with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), to summit Mount Everest, as well as to complete the Seven Summits, the highest peaks of the seven continents. In 2011, Lori set a new challenge, the Kilimanjaro Leap of Faith Adventure, gathering together a group of 14 adventurous men and women with MS and Parkinson’s disease (PD) on a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
At 19,340 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is not only the highest peak in Africa, but also the highest free-standing mountain the world. The mission will aim to raise awareness of MS and PD and showcase how people can move beyond their neurodegenerative disease, realising that their limitations should not define who they are.
Living beyond disease
Lori Schneider is a mountain climber, teacher, lifelong learner and inspirational speaker. In 1999, at the age of 43, Lori was diagnosed with MS – a serious and unpredictable neurodegenerative disease that could possibly lead to Lori, an avid outdoors person, being wheelchair bound. Following this diagnosis, Lori set out to challenge any limitations associated with her MS.
In doing so, Lori became the first person with MS to climb the highest mountain in the world.
The Kilimanjaro Leap of Faith Adventure provides Lori with the opportunity to share the lessons she has learned about believing in yourself and following your dreams. It is meant to challenge the body, expand the mind and foster courage in dealing with the diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease.
The Kilimanjaro Leap of Faith Adventure starts on July 13 and the descent will be completed on July 19, involving nine women and one man with MS, alongside two women and two men with PD and 14 climbing companions, all supporting each other every step of the way.
The youngest climber is 24, the oldest is 79 and they mainly come from the USA, with one from Spain. All climbers have come with their own aspirations, but there is an overwhelming sense that by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of this amazing group, they will give people with dreams the courage to set out to accomplish them, no matter what the circumstances.
The team was interviewed prior to the climb and will be upon its descent. During the climb there will be daily updates, visuals and podcasts from the MS / PD climbers and their companions.
View the profiles of every team member here and read all about their daily updates on the Empowerment Through Adventure website and the Empowerment Through Adventure Facebook page.
(Press release, July 2011)