Lastt night went to see Wendy Booker do a presentation. She's a mountaineer and marathon runner who has MS and she's on "Team Copaxone" which is where I first heard of her. I've traded email with her once when I was looking for a trainer who knew something about MS (she unfortunately didn't have time, fortunately Courtenay Schurman at Body Results (doesn't have MS but has worked with those who have it) did).
The talk first started off with Eric Collins MD who is the head of Neurology at Summit and he gave an excellent presentation on reading MRIs, and a simplified view of what happens in the body with MS, and how lesions are formed and how the various medications work.
Then Wendy talked about deciding to do the Boston Marathon after being diagnosed with MS and having never run a marathon before, and then how that inadvertantly got her started on her quest to be the first woman with MS to climb the 7 summits. She's already done 3 of them so she's well on her way.
While she stayed on her therapy during the climb, it was tough to keep the medication temperature controlled (it was hot and freezing on the same climb). I asked if she had to get the climbing team to do any compensating if she was having trouble and she said no - that she only goes if she's in top form and completely ready. Given that she's now doing this full time I'm not surprised.
Her message was simple. Push back against the limits that MS places on you in any realistic way you can. No we're not all mountain climbers but we all have goals that we can reach for.
I wore my K2 Aviation shirt and she instantly recognized it. "Oh, you must be Wendy." I said.
While she was mainly talking, at the end she did show some photos and the one's of the glaciers and tents covered with snow were highly familiar.
I asked what getting sponsorships was like and she said it was like doing college applications all over again. She's to the point that she has someone else do it. Her current sponsors are Teva (Copaxone), Brooks, Garmin and some others.
She's pretty dedicated. I mentioned that I was having issues with altitude and she said that she was moving to Boulder, CO for the altitude since some of the mountains she has left are really high.
Her web site is www.wendybooker.net