At age 9 I was bitten by a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. The medications that saved my life triggered Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS weakened all my vital organs, took most of my sight, and impaired my hearing. SJS did not weaken, take, or impair my tom-boy spirit. My big brother, Tim made sure of that. He pushed me to keep climbing trees, riding bikes, and keep my face to the sun.
When Tim was diagnosed with cancer our roles reversed. I became the one who pushed him to walk, eat, and sit in the sun. His final words to me, "Don't be sad. Be strong", is my mantra that shines the light through the darkest of nights.
Tim lived to see my work at No Barriers and the impact it had on those we serve. Tim was a US Army veteran and the stories about the No Barrier Warrior expeditions always made him smile and give him comfort.
I promised Tim I would never stop climbing mountains and I would never stop missing him. When I climb, I climb for all those who cannot climb mountains anymore. I carry Tim's No Barriers flag to the Summit and I face the sun in gratitude for the life I get to live.