As spring touches many parts of the northern hemisphere it is still winter here in Colorado albeit with 70 degree highs this week! But one thing is constant around the globe: Everest climbers are already in Kathmandu for the 2009 spring season. As has become my tradition, I am covering all the action on my site. I also want to update you on my Big Project I mentioned in the previous update.
Everest 2009 Coverage
Over the past few months, I have posted interviews with climbers from Germany, U.K, France, U.S. and more. I have had the honor of interviewing people who make a big difference on Everest such as Dawa Steven Sherpa of Asian Trekking and his efforts to clean up the mountain with his EcoEverest expedition. Also I interviewed Luanne Freer of Everest+ER - the hospital that provides care for Nepalese and climbers during each season since 2002. Also generous with their time are Russell Brice of Himalayan Experience and Eric Simonson of IMG - two of the biggest names in the Everest guiding community. There has been a great reaction to these interviews by my readers so I invite you to read them. The daily play by play of Everest action has already started as the teams are now reaching base camp.
Memories Are Everything: The 7 Summits
As I mentioned in my last update, I am working on a big project for 2010 and beyond. I am extremely excited that the Alzheimer's Association has agreed to join me on the project. They are the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research and the largest nonprofit dedicated to Alzheimer's issues. If you have friends or family with Alzheimer's and are looking for assistance, please visit their site or call their 24 hour helpline. They are amazing people with outstanding resources and talents.
The project is an ambitious one that builds on the success of The Road Back to Mt. Everest in 2007/8. My objective is to raise $1 million dollars for Alzheimer’s research through a series of global fund raising events. I am calling it Memories Are Everything: The 7 Summits.
The events will emphasize the connection between a healthy body and mind. There is a direct connection between staying healthy and warding off Alzheimer’s and other dementia. I will partner with local organizations on each continent for presentations, fund raisers and a local physical event such as a hike or climb of a local hill. The largest event will be an attempt of the highest mountain on that continent - the 7 Summits. Other climbers will join me however the project’s priority is to raise research money for Alzheimer’s.
As you can see, this is a huge endeavor that will require extensive logistics and help from organizations around the world. Alzheimer’s does not know country boarders or politics. It affects everyone without selection. As the world ages, without a solution, this problem will impact families of every country - large and small, rich and poor - regardless of their education or medical services.
Progress is being made and there is hope. Recently I met with a university professor who has shown some amazing progress on treating Alzheimer’s with a very innovative approach. However the statistics are startling. The California Alzheimer’s Association just reported that the number of Californians with Alzheimer's disease will nearly double to 1.1 million by 2030, contributing to a jump in treatment costs from $50.5 billion to $98.8 billion. Also that Californians ages 55 and older have a one in eight lifetime risk of developing the disease.
How You Can Help
If you are interested in participating in Memories Are Everything: The 7 Summits, please contact me. Specifically we need experienced organizations for managing the local events, sponsors for the 7 Summits and specialists in global public relations and fund raising. The relative costs are low yet the payoff is huge.
Many readers ask me how my mom is doing. She continues to decline and is now in the late stages of Alzheimer's. Recently she started suffering from hallucinations. She seems to recognize our voices over the phone but does not know who we are even in person, this was not unexpected. Physically she remains in good health but is growing frailer each month.
Thanks everyone for signing up for these updates. I only send one every few months and appreciate any comments or feedback.
Remember: Memories Are Everything