From the Ascent Blog

Jeff Campbell: The summit is optional. Descent is mandatory.

Nanaimo resident Jeff Campbell admits to having a bit of an obsession. “I love the mountains, love climbing, love to be high up and above the clouds. I’ve been on the tops of mountains in B.C. and one day would like to do Everest and K2.” Last year, the 28-year-old decided to do a major climb for charity and stumbled across the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s website, then learned about the Ascent for Alzheimer’s and the 2015 team hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro. “It was perfect timing,” says Jeff. “Meant to be.”

As a hearing specialist with Connect Hearing, Jeff has a clientele consisting largely of seniors. Out of the 15 to 20 people he sees every day, at least one suffers from dementia. “I see people in so many different stages,” he says. “It’s heartbreaking” Having worked for more than two years with the same clientele, many of his relationships have deepened into friendships.

Jeff has received a flood of contributions at his south end office, where an Ascent poster and cash box are displayed at the front desk. “I’ve had much more support than I ever thought I would,” says Jeff. “Clients, their family members, their friends – so many have made donations.” Leveraging his existing networks has been the key to fundraising. Through colleagues at work, the Lions Club of Nanaimo has made a donation in honour of his Ascent, and Connect Hearing plans to have a company fundraiser in late summer. As a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals of Nanaimo, Jeff intends to hold several lunch and learn fundraising events.

Jeff is excited about hiking toward the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro with the team. “It is going to be very, very rewarding. It’s life itself: you’re struggling, there are obstacles in your way, you’re reaching for one goal.” Already fit and athletic, Jeff is pushing his aerobic training. He rides his bike daily on his hilly commute to and from work, and for the last three months has been going to the gym after work for up to two hours.

“This whole process has been fun,” says Jeff. “Meeting everyone on the team, going through fundraising. We’re all reaching for one goal: to halt or slow this epidemic that is affecting so many people.” And, though making it to the top of Africa’s tallest would give him a real sense of accomplishment, Jeff accepts that “the summit is optional. Descent is mandatory. I’m looking forward to just living it.”

To contribute toward Jeff’s Ascent for Alzheimer’s fundraising goal, you can make a donation online. Thank you for your support.

comments powered by Disqus