As Brenda Baltimore says, patients with Type 1 diabetes — like her son, Logan Hadwell — are “climbing mountains every single day.”
So climbing a mountain herself seemed like a natural idea.
After raising more than $20,000 for juvenile diabetes research with her team, the Kilimanjaro Crew, over the last two years, Baltimore has moved on to the next phase of her fundraising.
In the next three months, she aims to start raising $10,000 in pledges, while also training for a goal of a different kind.
In March 2015, Baltimore plans to fly to the East African country of Tanzania, where she intends to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free-standing mountain, at an elevation of 5,895 metres above sea level.
She has begun training for the arduous climb, saying that it’s a natural fit for her.
She’ll be accompanied on her trek by guides and fellow travellers.
“I’m very active,” she explained. “I’m very much an outdoorsy person.”
When he was eight years old, Logan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes), an autoimmune disease that affects the pancreas, causing it to stop producing insulin.
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Type 1 diabetes can strike children or adults at any age, and more than 300,000 Canadians live with the disease.
Patients become dependent on insulin doses and must frequently test their blood sugar levels. Even with treatment, they face a high risk of kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, stroke, heart attack and other serious effects.
About two years ago, Baltimore committed to joining the fight against the disease.
She and a team, dubbed “Kilimanjaro Krew,” organized several fundraisers, including selling hanging baskets for Mother’s Day in 2013 and 2014.
In September of 2013, they also organized an event called “A Night in the Wild, Wild West,” featuring special guest Terry Grant, star of the Canadian reality TV series Mantracker.
On Friday, Nov. 28, Baltimore and her supporters gathered at Stettler Community Hall to present a cheque for $20,209.20 to Melissa Zimmermann, JDRF’s fundraising and development coordinator for central Alberta.
The funds represent the fruit of their labours over the last two years. Baltimore said it’s her hope that a cure for Type 1 diabetes will be discovered within her son’s lifetime.
Although the other members of the Krew had planned to join Baltimore in her climb, they were forced to change their plans, and she will be the only one from Stettler making the trek to Tanzania.
She and Logan, who turns 18 this month, often go for hikes, or work out together, either at home or at the gym.
“He’s been very supportive,” said Baltimore. “He really does motivate me to live better.”
For more information, or to support Baltimore’s campaign, visit www.trekkingfortype1.com.