Today is the one year anniversary of our Kilimanjaro summit!

Today, I’m thinking of my Sky High for Roger’s House team; one year ago today, we stood proud and strong at the top of this iconic mountain. On this beautiful Thanksgiving day, I want to express my gratitude to my climb mates by offering them this little video of our climb. I miss you all so much!

Cover song: Faith of the Heart, words and music by Diane Warren ©1998 REAL SONGS (ASCAP/MCA MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC.) All Rights Reserved. Heartfelt thanks to Colin Snelson, film editor extraordinaire, who turned my vision into a 4m18s reality!

With the Sky-High for Roger’s House initiative, we wanted to honor Roger Neilson’s legacy and the memory of three beautiful souls, Misha, Simon and Jovie. Through our adventure, the team raised well over $63,000 for Roger’s House, which provides pediatric end of life care and a “home away from home” for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Angelo Garcia and I started on this little adventure a few years ago.  We met through the bereavement group at Roger’s House in January 2010; I had lost my youngest son, Simon, to a drowning accident during a school outing, while Angelo had lost his oldest son Misha to brain cancer.  Both outdoors enthusiasts, we quickly became friends and remained in close contact after we left the Roger’s House bereavement group.

Long before meeting each other, we both had planned to climb Kilimanjaro. I was in training to climb when my son passed away, while Angelo and his son had planned to climb Kilimanjaro together. However, the return of Misha’s tumour kept them from fulfilling their dream. In his will, Misha asked Angelo to scatter his ashes on top of Kilimanjaro so they may still reach the highest peak of Africa together.

During the Roger’s House Telethon in March 2011, we were sitting next to one another answering phones and taking donations when Angelo told me he was looking into climbing Kilimanjaro to scatter Misha’s ashes. It instantly renewed my desire to do the climb and we committed on that very night to doing a charity climb for Roger’s House.

We decided to invite other Roger’s House parents, staff and volunteers, and within 48 hours, the Sky-High for Roger’s House team was complete!

At the summit, Ian and I accompanied Angelo in honoring the memory of our children. I buried two rocks, one from Simon’s beloved collection and another for Roger’s House to honor all the beautiful souls that peacefully passed away there. Ian celebrated his daughter Jovie’s life with a small monument.

You can visit our Sky-High for Roger’s House blog to read all about our adventure – from training to summit, including the tall tale of the boys taking the women latrine to crater camp!!!

Our story, told by…