Woman with MS summits Everest
A Wisconsin native talks about her journey with MS
WLUK-TV Fox 11

Published : Friday, 18 Sep 2009
Reporter: Becky DeVries

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN - What is your greatest accomplishment? For one Wisconsin woman, the sky literally is the limit. Lori Schneider is a Bayfield woman who has climbed the earth's highest mountain, while battling a disabling neurological disease affecting 400,000 Americans.

Lori has reached seven summits, most recently Mount Everest, in May.

"I was thrilled to be there and thrilled that my body was still responding enough that I could even attempt a two month climb," said Lori.

One mountain Lori is still battling: multiple sclerosis, or MS, a disease that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms vary, and the disease CAN take away muscle use. There is no cure. Lori was diagnosed 10 years ago.

"I woke up, put my foot out of bed and my leg was numb, my arm was numb and the whole side of my body was totally numb and I panicked," said Lori.

Lori says her diagnosis had quite an impact on her. She didn't tell many people she had MS for about a year. Now she makes her living talking about MS, and the power of determination.

"If you believe in yourself and aren't afraid to try you can achieve some amazing things," Lori said.

Lori says when reaching a mountaintop, you have to take a step, stop to breathe, then take another step. She says living with MS can be similar.

Lori deals with flare-ups from time to time, and knows everyone with MS isn't in the condition to climb a mountain.

"...And yes we can't all climb mountains," said Lori. "I might not be able to someday either. Have a positive attitude and realize that there are still dreams to be had in your life. Don't give up on your dreams."

While she is taking a break from climbing physical mountains, she is taking on multiple sclerosis one step at a time.

"I think it's those things in life that scare you that really help you to grow," said Lori.

Lori Schneider is speaking in Door County this weekend to participants in the three-day M-S Challenge Walk that began today in Ellison Bay. It is part of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Wisconsin Chapter. The event has already raised $220,000.

Schneider says in a couple of years she hopes to take a group of people with MS to climb the inactive African volcano known as Mount Kilimanjaro.