Thursday, August 2, 2007

The ADA and I Part 1

Note: Through my running the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, I set out to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association Research Fund. This was the final of MANY fundraisers I have organized or helped organize since January of 2005. Since then, myself and the rest of Team Sherpa have raised almost $17,500 towards the ADA Research Fund and we've also raised awareness for this incurable disease. It has been great fun raising money for the ADA... but also a lot of hard work and headaches. Definately a worth while experience, I'd like to take a few moments to re-cap my fundraising story with the ADA.

It seems that there are still some out there who are telling tall tales without the proper facts. Even after 2 years have past, some have tagged me as a thief. Its been a long hard road, an emotional roller coaster of sorts.. and now its over. Please continue to check back here for the parts to follow in the series of posts I am about to put up here. My intent is to only keep you well informed of the truth as I know it.

Part 1 of a 4 Part Series

I went back to college during the fall/winter of 2003/2004. I started taking courses towards an Associates in Radio/TV Production and Broadcasting. I knew I wanted to get into TV and become that guy who edited the TV commercials. But during the same time that I decided to go back to school.. I started hiking again after a few years off. As the wheels started turning.. I knew that I wanted to finish hiking the 48 four thousand foot mountains of New Hampshire... but I also knew I wanted to tell the story of it all. I wished there was some way to share it all...

Then my mother asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I jokingly told her I wanted a brand new Mac computer so I could work on my video editing with it. What started out as a joke became a reality... mom bought my the computer and I was surprised an elated. So now I was back in school, taking radio and tv classes and all the rest.. and hiking again. The summer/fall of 2003 quickly turned to winter. It was during the winter that I finally came up with the plan to put my new computer to use.. I was going to make a hiking video based around my quest to finish hiking the Peaks of NH.

During 2004, Sarah and I headed out into the White Mountains every weekend, equipped with a Sony Handy-Cam and a lot of patience. We hiked up and down every mountain left on my list, recording the adventure as it unfolded. We got scenic shots, wildlife shots, interviewed folks we met on the trail. And we took video of each other on the summit of each peak. There was no story line, no script.. just us hiking. As the year wore on, I was a first hand witness to the daily struggles that Sarah had to endure with her Type 1 Diabetes, and I was amazed that she dared to hike all these peaks with me one by one. It became a part of the story.

In the fall of 2004, I had finished filming, I had finished the list and I had asked Sarah to marry me all on the same day. Now it was time to get to work in putting this footage into an actual movie/story. But before I went through the trouble, I joined a website called and posted a simple question in the online forum... "Who would be interested in seeing a movie about hiking the 48?" I got great positive feedback and I found out there was indeed a "mountain" of interest. I knew that this would work, now i just had to tie it all together. But how would I sell the film and why would anyone want to buy it?? It was during this brainstorming session that I decided the right thing to do was to sell the film to raise money for Diabetes Research in honor of Sarah. Sarah who's courage completely undermined my own.. SHE and many others like her were the true story in the mountains.. the proceeds would benefit her in finding a cure for her disease.

If I only knew then what I know now about the work involved, the mistakes not to make and the trouble it was going to be.. I may not have made a film at all.

Proceed to Part 2