"My Dad, Michael Hannan and a friend of his, Heiko Maurer, both suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. Since their diagnosis, they’ve found themselves the victims of the attitude adopted by a large number of health professionals and carers. One that infers that because they sometimes have trouble speaking, walking, keeping their hands still or their balance, that they’re not capable or worthy members of the community.
Michael and Heiko were fit, healthy and active both physically, socially and professionally before the onset of Parkinson’s and they don’t believe the disease should stop them from enjoying the things they used to enjoy. They want to be able to discover their own limitations, not have them set by people who don’t understand the disease or know what they’re experiencing.
So in an act of defiance and courage, and as an inspiration to others suffering from Parkinson’s, Mike and Heiko are trekking to Everest Base Camp. One of the most demanding treks on the planet, they want to see what their bodies can do, how the level of exertion changes their symptoms and how the altitude affects them."
Katie Hannan, Mike's daughter
The Beneufit team developed a special app for the trek so they could collect cirleTap™ test results along the way in less than ideal conditions.
Beneufit advisor Nan Little, who has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Inca trail and the Annaurna base camp with PD offered connections and sage advise for Mike and his team.
"It also does not matter whether or not they get to base camp. The point is they are trying and doing their best and stretching beyond their limits. The goal is to do, not to actually get there. Getting there is great but it should not be the first goal."