• Mt. Kilimanjaro
    Our distant goal.
  • Gear check day
    All 50 pounds of gear is sorted and re-packed.
  • Team Excitement
    We are ready to start our ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  • Our guides and porters
    Climbing would be most difficult without experienced guides.
  • Day One
    We leave from Machame gate with great enthusiasm.
  • One step at a time
    Our team of climber with MS and PD grow stronger each day.
  • Finding our way
    Our porters carry half our gear.
  • Lunch
    First days lunch served in style at over 8,500 feet.
  • Incredible views
    Evenings on the mountain.
  • Darkness
    Nights are dark unless you are John Carlin.
  • Dinner
    Meal time was a time to get to know each other and catch up on the days events.
  • Confidence
    Tackling the ridge with confidence
  • The Wall
    The team climbed the Barranco wall with steady hands and strong legs.
  • Lava rocks in the alpine zone
  • Adjusting
    We acclimated to our new environment.
  • Socializing
    Dr. Giroux, Sierra and John enjoy a round of joking and laughs before heading to high camp at 16,500 feet.
  • Steep
    The final day before summit night was an introduction for what was to come.
  • Going Forward
    Despite the steep climb to high camp, we lean into it and move on.
  • Teamwork
    High Camp at 16,000 feet
  • Surreal
    Being in the clouds ground us to the earth.
  • Captivating
    The mountain may allow us to climb in darkness under a full moon.
  • Sunrise
    Summit morning is a perfect morning.
  • Stamina
    Sarah makes the summit first leading the team with amazing stamina.
  • Ultimate Teamwork
    Dr. Giroux and Sierra enjoy final moments on the bitter cold summit.
  • The Bionic Man
    Despite PD and DBS, Nathan reaches the summit in style.
  • The Team Summits
    At 19,340 feet the team enjoy the sunrise on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  • The Descent
    Day 7 coming down through the jungle.
  • Floating Along
    The perfect ending to a strenuous adventure is floating gracefully over the Serengeti.
  • Sunset
    The setting sun on the Safari.
  • Leap of Faith Adventure
    The team seal commemorates the work of each climber.


More Than a Mountain

Sierra Farris and Monique Giroux MD traveled as medical team supporting and encouraging individuals with neurological conditions to realize life-long dreams and goals that measured beyond most perceptions as possible. Sierra and Dr. Giroux joined fourteen people living with Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis and twelve companions to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa July 2011. Sierra and Dr. Giroux climbed alongside the most amazing team toward a shared goal. The twenty-eight member team was led by Lori Schneider, the first person with MS to climb the seven summits and is an international symbol of the courage and determination necessary to reach beyond the limits. View above several photos that highlight the beauty and the daily challenges faced by the team. Through amazing camaraderie, team members supported one another and celebrated daily victories that brought tears of enjoyment with each passing day.

The goal of the adventure was to encourage and empower others to not be defined by their disease but to reach beyond their diagnosis and continue to challenge themselves and others. Inspired by Lori’s accomplishments and dedicated to the same principles and ideas for her patients, Sierra joined the team and opened the door for people with Parkinson’s to join the team and take the challenge of a life-time.

Why this climb remains important?

The climb was about hope, empowerment and support for those living with PD, MS or any challenging condition. It is so important not to be defined by your disease or to give in to what others or society expects that you can or can not do. By coming together this team increased awareness for Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and showed the world that anything is possible with hope, determination, courage, empathy and support!