Cure Parkinson’s Trust Fundraiser of the Year
Please forgive me if this post feels as if I am being rather self indulgent. Believe me, I’m not, but there are a few things I would like to say about this link.
I am enormously humbled, but very honoured to be chosen as the Fundraiser of the year, but while my name is the one that is out there, there are 16 other names which I think everyone should know, and you will see why .
In no particular order, these are the strangers who will be in my heart always, they are Heather and John, Heather and Derick ,Joanann and Josh, Sarah, Linda, Lena, Gayle, Selpha, Amy, Lauren, @Kayoko, Stephen, Olly, and Johnny.
These are the people, most of whom I had never met, who took a huge leap of faith to come with Johnny and me to Japan, and at their own expense. None of them have Parkinson’s, or if they have they’re not disclosing it, although most have, or had a relative with the condition. Some have no apparent connection with the disease, but want to help, and, for me, this selflessness makes them the unsung heroes of our Team All the participants were asked to make a voluntary contribution to CPT (the Cure Parkinson’s Trust), but two in particular, John and Heather, certainly went the extra mile on this one. Their contribution was huge, and I know there was barely a week in the preceding months when one, or both, of them weren’t addressing some organisation or group in the hope of adding to the coffers.
Going the extra mile applied to the other Heather too. A doctor from the other side of the pond, she and her husband, Derick, were making their first trip outside the American continent. On the way up the mountain Heather passed out and fell – on her face! Broken teeth, broken nose, lip split asunder, blood everywhere and off to hospital accompanied by Derick. What a trooper Heather is though, because by the time we were finished and returning to Tokyo, she had rejoined us and was quite insistent that when the show went on, she was going to be part of it. Someone with that courage is one of a kind
So Heather and Derick didn’t quite get to the top, and nor did Gayle, a lady from California. She succumbed to altitude sickness, and I can attest to the fact that when that hits, there is nothing you can do to counteract it, apart from get to a lower altitude.
By this time, the group was so close knit, that the fact that not everyone made the top really didn’t matter, they were still an integral part of a very close knit band Honesty also makes me admit that, as far as I was concerned, the summit could have been taken over by aliens and I wouldn’t have known any different! The reason my poles are resting on my shoulders in the victory photographs is that when asked to raise up my arms, that was as far as I could get them!
I said that being given this award is very humbling, and when you read the stories of the runners up, you will understand what I mean. Every single one of them is every bit as deserving of this as I am, so huge congratulations to each and every one. Please let these donations bring a cure closer.
I have been talked into a repeat performance – not a mountain climb (once was quite enough!), but Johnny has been successful in talking me into a different challenge for next year. He will announce details in the near future on his onestep4ward social media outlets, and I will share them on geriatrictraveller. So watch this space!
And thank you to these people in particular, but also to everyone who contributed to Mount Fuji, and indeed to everyone who contributed to all the fundraising for CPT. Thank you all so very, very much.