When we sit comfortably in a chair, enjoying a glass of red wine or putting our shoes while hurrying for Friday’s cross-fit, we do not realize often that simple and trivial activities in certain circumstances become difficult to reach. Such a goal is Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) – the highest mountain in North America – for Szymek and Łukasz and for Inga, Igor and their closest relatives is to overcome the incurable disease. As soon as the brave mountaineers heard of the brave young girl and boy who struggle with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), they decided to dedicate every step of their climb to sick kids with SMA.
Ekipa wyprawy na Denali
Enthusiast of mountains and mountain adventures, traveler. Organizer of highland expeditions in the Himalayas, Pamir, Hindu Kush. Every day with passion and for six years he has been writing popular travel blog Kartka z Podróży. The mountains fascinated him in early childhood, when he saw snow-covered Swinnica from Kasprowy Wierch. Passion for travel, photography and mountains pushed him consistently to pursue ever more interesting projects. For many years now he has been climbing in our Polish Tatras and in high mountains all over the world.
Student of physiotherapy, traveler. The founder of the project: Nie Przestawaj Marzyć, which aims to motivate people – regardless of age, gender and wealthy – to consistently realize their dreams and be stubborn in realizing their goals. Since childhood he has been dedicated to sport that gives him joy, satisfaction, and a lot of emotion. Denali will be his fifth summit in his unbroken path to the Seven Summits. Szymon believes that the limitations are only in our minds and that one needs to want and look with passion to realize even most demanding goals.
The third member of the expedition to Denali is Peppa Pig, the favorite cartoon character of Inga. Inga is suffering from spinal muscle atrophy, and her motion development has been very limited. Peppa goes to Denali on behalf of Inga, who is not able to move on her own at the moment. This time we have prepared a warm cap and scarf for Peppa to better handle harsh winter conditions during the expedition.
Duś Lamb is a friend of Igorek, who like Inga is suffering from SMA. Duś has a lot in common with Igor. He is stubborn and brave. He will certainly do anything to climb the highest peak of North America – Denali. As you can see Duś has also very good outdoor clothes to handle the sub-polar climate zone.
The highest peak in North America
Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) is the highest peak in Cordillera and in North America. The mountain is also of certain importance to Polish mountaineering. It was at Denali in 1974 that Jerzy Kukuczka struggled for the first time with the hardships of high-altitude expeditions, which caused severe frostbite and high altitude sickness. It is believed that the weather conditions on the highest peaks of Alaska accurately reflect the climate of expeditions for the eight-thousandths in the Himalayas and Karakorum.
Like every high-altitude mountain expedition and this one requires a lot of planning. Mountaineers patiently made their permits and visas for the US as well as checked their equipment. Furthermore, systematic physical preparation made of outdoor activities and high intensity interval training is basically a must. None can also forget about appropriate psychological attitude which is the key to success. Łukasz compares the life of a climber high up in the mountains to an ascetic life. There are no luxuries in the camps and all the conveniences of daily life are retarding and hindering adaptation to challenging conditions. It’s not just about physical exercise but also about mind training. In high mountains, which do not always require a lot of climbing techniques, much depends on the determination, the hardness and the consequence in achieving the goal. Traveling in the mountains is risky and there are things one cannot foresee. One has to try to minimize the risk factors that affect us, such as the fitness and fitness of the body.
Pictures from the expedition
Denali expedition is dedicated to children with SMA. Climbing to the top in the high mountains can be compared to the fight against this chronic and incurable disease. For the mountaineers, the inner motive of struggling with the altitude is determination and fortitude. For the kids and their parents is the faith in the advancement of medicine and the hope of the medicine availability to overcome the disease. Every step to the summit is a step to victory and reward is the satisfaction. For every hour of rehabilitation, every note regarding the medicine development progress brings them a little closer to the goal.
To the team of passionate mountaineers once again joined Peppa Pig – Inga’s favorite toy and Duś Lamb, who always accompany Igorek. Spinal muscle atrophy is manifested, among other symptoms, by inhibiting motion development. We really want Inga and Igor to be able to run, walk and enjoy life as their healthy peers. Every step on the Denali is dedicated to kids with SMA, and especially to those little warriors. Peppa and Duś are going to Denali on behalf of those two kids who are not able to move at this moment. We believe that when both will reach their summit and overcome the disease (yes, it is certainly a matter of „when” rather than „if”), nothing will stop them from conquering the world themselves.
We dedicate the whole venture to Inga, Igorek and other children with SMA. We would like to spread information broadly about the disease because we hope that thanks to this, recently approved drugs will become available to everyone. Unfortunately, the treatment nowadays is a luxury that only a few can afford.
Press release (in Polish)
➡ Forum Neurologiczne: Wejdą na Denali by wesprzeć chore dzieci z SMA
➡ Forum Neurologiczne: Wieści z Denali – Łukasz i Szymon zdobyli Mc Kinleya dedykując wejście na szczyt dzieciom chorym na SMA
➡ Forum Neurologiczne: Rdzeniowy zanik mięśni – Dr n.med. Urszula Zielińska-Rutkowska o SMA
➡ Czecho.pl: Szymon Żoczek i Łukasz Kocewiak chcą zdobyć Denali dla Ingi i Igorka
➡ Podniebna Drużyna: Zdobyli szczyt Denali dla SMA! Wywiad z Łukaszem i Szymonem
➡ Czecho.pl: Szymon Żoczek i Łukasz Kocewiak zdobyli Denali dla chorych dzieci
➡ Forum Neurologiczne: To trzeba przeżyć samemu – wyprawa podróżników dedykowana dzieciom z SMA
➡ Radio Kampus: Krętymi ścieżkami na szczyty w USA
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