Constance Kemmerer (Connie)

Country of residence:








Semi-retired, otherwise employed at resort business, guest ranch and Wellness Institute

What is your relationship with your MS walking partner?



I joined the program late so I met my companion climber (Kirsty Banaszak) online through Lori. I didn't join earlier because I had spine surgeries and a fusion nine months ago.


How has a diagnosis of MS affected your relationship with your walking partner?



My companion was diagnosed in 2005. She seems to have handled it well, though she has had to make some difficult lifestyle changes.


What are your current views/feelings of your MS walking partnerís life with Multiple Sclerosis?



I want to know my companion better and learn more about MS. I already admire her accomplishments and courage.

What has motivated you to take part in the Kilimanjaro climb and to be a walking partner for people with MS?



Lori Schneider - I was Founder and Chair of the Teton Wellness Institute that brought Lori to Jackson to speak.

I'm at an age where supporting others rather than being the ascent climber is appropriate. Also, having had a spine fusion nine months ago, it is a tribute to returning to health and movement for me.


What is your previous experience of hiking/climbing?



I have quite a bit of previous experience hiking, climbing and mountaineering. I climbed Kilimanjaro at 20 on an excursion from Ethiopia where I spent two summers working with missionaries.


How do you plan to support your MS walker companion during the Kilimanjaro climb?



As a companion I would like to be there for my climber to listen, learn and support. I do not have a pre-conceived idea of how I can best do this. Having been on ascent climbs before, group dynamics, personal health and altitude can change circumstances and personalities. I'd hope to be able to stay connected to big spirit not little self.


What hopes/aspirations do you have before and after the Kilimanjaro climb?



My intention for this climb is to be a friend focused on helping my climber and others achieve their dreams and relearn myself, the courage it takes to make dreams happen. I've always wanted to do a major climb where the truth can be shared about where each person is with the climb rather than toughing it out, which is what I used to do. For seven years I've been part of a four woman sport climbing team which has been a great experience in honesty, encouragement, trust, helping each individual achieve their goals, sometimes talking another into taking a leap of faith, or moving past a fear, sometimes being joyful for another who can do something I can't do.

I'm open to be led to be of the greatest service I can be while staying OK with me as I am.