Jeanne Vanhulle

Jeanne Van Hulle

Country of residence:USA

 

USA

Age:55

 

55

Occupation:2nd grade teacher

 

Second grade teacher

What is your relationship with your MS walking partner?

 

 

I have enjoyed getting to know April (Winckler) and her whole family.  I supported her fundraising for the trip and weíve hiked together and enjoyed sharing meals and conversations. 

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

 

 

I have gained such respect for April as she bravely faces so many physical challenges with grace and strength. 

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

 

 

I see April living a positive life against some tough physical challenges.  Her illness and this climb have combined to give a positive focus and drive to her daily life.

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

 

 

My 30-year friendship with Lori Schneider brought me into this climb. I have always enjoyed having a physical challenge in my life so this is a good fit for me. I felt so helpless when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis this year, that I needed this trek to empower myself.

What is your previous experience of hiking/climbing?

 

 

I like to hike and have participated in a few marathons in the past. Since I can no longer run, due to rheumatoid arthritis, I can do this. I havenít done any real climbing.  Lori calls it a leap of faith, perhaps itís a leap of foolishness!

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

 

 

I enjoy April so much that I am looking forward to the two of us supporting each other in tackling Kilimanjaro.  I imagine a lot of laughter, some tears, and ultimate joy with our successes. She is the same age as my sons so I feel very comfortable with her.

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

I have loved the training portion of this as it sharpens me mentally and physically. After the climb I plan on continuing to support April since we live in the same area. An experience like this will change me for the better. I imagine there will be a mental letdown afterwards. Due to my friendship with Lori, I know weíll continue to find new challenges.