There is something rather surreal about writing 30 Days To Mt. Kilimanjaro! When the Parker family started our year long journey, it seemed the mountain was light years away! Now we are down to just one month, and I still find it hard to believe we will be taking our first steps on Mt. Kilimanjaro in just four weeks!
Our year long journey has been filled with a lot of excitement, some moments of sheer exhaustion and the anticipation of educating others about Parkinson’s disease and our quest for the cure! There has been a lot of laughter and tears along the way.
The highlight of our year is no doubt the closeness that has occurred in the Parker family. We have always been relatively close, but life has a way of taking over and causing us to reach out far too seldom! We now have a special bond that I believe will last a lifetime! Even when we return to our normal existence after the climb, I think we will strive to retain that close contact! I sure hope so anyway!
Another great thing that happened this year is that our extended family grew with each post of Parker’s Climb. Our story has reached readers across eight countries. Our post has been read by more than 16,000 readers and on those days that I could not write, people actually reached out to find out what was happening in the Parker family to prevent me from posting!
When I launched the Parker’s Climb blog eleven months ago, I told Geoff I would probably need a good round of therapy when the year came to an end! He remarked that he thought Parker’s Climb is probably my therapy – my way of dealing with circumstances beyond my control. In reality, he is probably right!
Why did I choose to open our lives up like a novel? Why did I choose to tell the world what it is like to live with Parkinson’s disease on a daily basis? Because the story needs to be told! People need to realize that in the blink of an eye, life can change forever. I chose to tell our story because one day we were a normal family going about life. We were working towards retirement, and taking vacations and savoring our uncomplicated life together. Then one day it all changed and Parkinson’s disease stopped at our door, perhaps some twenty or so years before it should have!
I often wonder what it would have been like if I had been diagnosed with PD instead of Geoffrey. I think I would have wallowed in negativity far longer than he did. He says now that the first year he did struggle with the negativity. I must have missed it because he always put on a happy face and never seemed like this thing would claim his independence!
In that first year, I had started a new job and I threw myself into it as if there was no tomorrow! I was working with some of the most talented people ever, all sharing the same vision for our company. Some days I worked twelve hours a day and the next morning I would pop out of bed in anticipation of another challenge. That lasted two and a half years until our company was sold and moved off shore. Our incredible management team was disassembled and we all set about moving on with our lives; all knowing we might have just spent the best two and a half years of our working careers! I still miss this team e everyday but my life was made better having known them!
As we climb Mt. Kilimanjaro thirty days from now, the experiences that I carry in my mind will be those of this past year! It will be the long hours of blogging, the excitement of comments on the blog from people who said we are inspiring them and the dream of a day when Parkinson’s disease is a thing of the past! I know we will reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro and I am convinced we will get our cure for PD for the five to six million people living with the disease today!
Stay with us on our journey – share our blog and our story with your friends because we need to light a fire across the world as we climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! We need to rekindle hope in those living with the disease and we need to raise funds for research to set it’s victims free!
We are really just a normal family who chose to climb a mountain to help fund a cure! I hope you will donate to Parker’s Climb today or order from some of our retail offerings. One hundred percent of the proceeds from our retail sites is donated to Team Fox, so shop till you drop and when your package arrives know that you have just donated to Team Fox, for the cure! Pkp