Carey Roberts wrote -
About 20 years ago, my mom and I took an amazing trip to the Alps. We did a lot of hiking and had a fantastic time together - it was a great adventure. We always talked about going back some day and the classic peaks - in particular, the Matterhorn - have been on my mind ever since.
Unfortunately, about 10 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The specific symptoms of MS vary greatly across individuals but, in my mom's case, her MS diagnosis has meant ever-decreasing mobility. As a result, a return to the Alps to go hiking is no longer an option for her. She remains as active as possible, though - swimming, kayaking, traveling to far flung places - and she's helped in her endeavors by her wonderful husband, Vin, and her fantastic service dog, Fuller.
Fuller came to our family from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), which is a non-profit organization that provides highly-trained assistance dogs to people, like my mom, who have disabilities. Fuller helps my mom walk and remain active, keeping the world as accessible to her as possible. He's also become an important member of the family because of his wonderful disposition, dedication and charm. He's simply incredible.
In honor of my mom and Fuller, and the inspiration their perserverance provides to me and everyone around them, I'm returning to the Alps in July to climb a number of peaks in the Monte Rosa Massif and, assuming a bit of luck with the weather, the Matterhorn. In the process, I'm raising funds for CCI. The work they and their service dogs do has a significant and immediate impact on people's lives and can mean the difference between being shut in and getting out into the world. They serve people like my mom who are physically disabled, children with mental disabilities, veterans returning from Iraq and a whole range of people in between, Our family has become a huge fan of the organization and my uncle even raises puppies for them! I hope you'll help me support their cause.
To see some photos related to the how, why and where of the climb, including photos of the trip my mom and I took 20 years ago, more photos of Fuller and information about CCI, check out my tumblr page at http://rosaandthematterhorn.tumblr.com/. It'll be updated regularly as I get closer to the trip.