From the Ascent Blog

Kris Clarke: Dreamed it. Doing it.

For as long as she can remember, Edmonton resident and outdoor enthusiast Kris Clarke has dreamed of hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. “I’ve always wanted to visit Africa. I like experiencing different cultures and meeting new people,” she says. Athletic and adventurous, she and her teenaged son Wolfe and her fiancé Michael have travelled together to far-flung regions of the globe, prompting both her gratitude for what she has and a desire to give back.

Kris was first made aware of the Ascent for Alzheimer’s when her friend and relative Debbie Craig, told her she had joined the 2015 Ascent team. Kris learned that the eventraises funds to benefit those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, like Kris’s grandmother Donna Ayres, who is in the late stage of dementia and lives at a care facility on Vancouver Island. “Alzheimer’s disease has touched a lot of people I know,” says Kris. “With Debbie going, it made sense to do the hike now.”

Kris has already raised funds online through word-of-mouth. With a donation box set up at her son’s cadets and with her future father-in-law contributing proceeds from his company, Kris is grateful for offerings near and far. She says, “It all adds up. It’s all about what you can give.” In the months leading up to the Ascent, Kris plans to run a silent auction, sell custom Ascent T-shirts, hold a Tupperware party and organize two raffles, all in support of her fundraising goals.

“I have never made a trip like this by myself, ever,” says Kris about the journey to Africa, where she will meet the rest of the Ascent team. To prepare for the hike, Kris has hired a trainer. “I’m going to the gym twice a week. I also do yoga twice a week…. and I’ll be riding my bike to work more often now that it’s nicer weather.” Plus, she stays active daily through her very physical job as a receiver for a welding and automation company.

The hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro is challenging, says Kris, but “once you reach that summit and see the view, it makes it all worth it!” Plus, she says, it will be “something I can take off my bucket list!”

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

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