Climbing Mountains for Shriners Children's
Lynda Luce is always looking for her next adventure. From marathons to Iron Man triathlons, she has completed nearly every athletic accomplishment in the book. When searching for a new challenge, she came up with very few options. “I’ve already done everything,” said Lynda. “I needed a challenge that would push me.” Connected through her active community of runners, bikers and more in Portland, she discovered her next uphill battle – climbing a mountain. However, not just any mountain – she wants to climb the equivalent of the legendary Mt. Everest.
29029 Everesting is the ultimate endurance hiking experience. Participants in the challenge have 36 hours to hike and reach 29,029 vertical feet, the equivalent height of Mt. Everest. Taking place at peaks throughout the United States and Canada, climbers can choose the mountain they climb to make it to the equivalent of Mt. Everest. Heading to Canada in September, Lynda will scale Mt. Whistler eight times at 4,000 feet each trip. After each leg, she will then ride a gondola down to start the climb once again alongside over 300 other climbers.
Lynda’s motivation in climbing this peak? The patients at Shriners Children’s. In fact, Lynda has turned the challenges into a fundraising effort that benefits Shriners Children’s Portland.
"I will climb from morning until dusk, through the dark hours of the night and watch the sunrise welcome in the next day," said Lynda, "All in honor of our patients who may never take a step by themselves and in celebration of those who now can, because of their care at Shriners Children's Portland."
Her motive for climbing does not stop with the inspiring patients at Shriners Children’s. “My son has cerebral palsy and has had a lot of the same surgeries that patients at Shriners Children’s have,” said Lynda. “I remember watching my child go into surgery and now I can be on the other side as an employee here. I see both sides of it and I feel very fortunate – I would say that’s why I’m so passionate about it.” Lynda’s journey with her son, Tyler, has given her the opportunity to help other families around her with stories similar to hers.
Connecting with others is in fact a strength of Lynda’s. Walking throughout the hospital, she warmly greets each person she passes and always jumps at the opportunity to make others smile. While training on the weekends, Shriners Children’s Portland team members join Lynda to cheer her on. “Some of my friends from the inpatient unit joined me this past weekend!” said Lynda. Angie Gofredo, director of development for Shriners Children’s Portland, is one of many cheerleaders for Lynda as she trains for her big climb. “Lynda’s dedication and support of our hospital is second to none,” said Angie. “She climbs mountains in honor of our patients with everything she does each day.”
As Lynda continues to train for the official climb that takes place September 16 and 17, she will hold her Shriners Children’s memories – as well as her son, Tyler – close to her heart as motivation to push through.
You too can help support Lynda's efforts to raise $2,902.90 for Shriners Children’s Portland. Please visit her fundraising page to donate and learn more. (All donations are tax deductible).
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