Bayfield woman leads group climbing Mount KilimanjaroTwenty-nine people, 14 of them with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, arrived at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit on Friday. They are led by Lori Schneider, a 53-year-old Bayfield woman who has battled MS for a dozen years.
By: Mike Simonson , Wisconsin Public Radio
Twenty-nine people, 14 of them with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, arrived at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit on Friday. They are led by Lori Schneider, a 53-year-old Bayfield woman who has battled MS for a dozen years.
They climbed 10 hours on Friday, about three days from reaching Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit 19,300 feet high. Schneider said it was a foggy evening at base camp of Africa’s highest peak.
“And as you look above it, peeking out of it is the summit of Kilimanjaro,” she said. “There’s a little bit of snow there around the crater that we can see. It’s just amazing.”
Schneider has climbed all seven of the world’s continental summits, but this is the first time she has taking an expedition with other people suffering from neurological diseases like she does. Each person with MS or Parkinson’s is paired with a healthy partner.
She described the climbers as “giving their heart and soul for this project, working to overcome the labels in their own lives.” The companion climbers are “just here out of the kindness of their hearts to help somebody and be a partner every step of the way,” she said.
Schneider’s partner is her 79-year-old father, Neal Schneider of Janesville, Wis.
At the end of Friday’s climb, Schneider said they each downed four to five liters of fluids to keep hydrated. “And now it’s time to take in massive quantities of food, since we burned thousands and thousands of calories today,” she said.
Schneider said they hope to reach the top on Monday.