It was a year ago exactly, that I was surfing the net and came across a group of regular people that caught my attention. I didn’t know anything about them, but I was intrigued when I discovered what they were up to.
They call themselves the Regulars. For those of you not familiar with this group, they are a team of ordinary people, on a quest toward a great purpose. They are determined to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in order to find a cure.
The group, founded and led by Enzo Simone, began its quest in 2006. A Trail Called Hope was born out of Enzo’s desire to see Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease conquered by bringing worldwide attention to help in finding a cure. His method? Conquering one mountain at a time for the next ten years and forming an ever-changing entourage of members who climb with him each year.
Several have been invited to climb, but not all are able. If physical limitations don’t present a barrier, then the work it takes to just get to the trailhead itself may hinder a wanna-be Regular. In Enzo’s words, “Becoming one of the Regulars is not a flight of fancy and will require you to work hard in more ways than you can imagine. You will promise yourself and others a number of things by becoming one of the Regulars.”
What exactly are those promises? Enzo calls them the Regulars’ 11 Commandments, making it clear what is expected from each team member. Some of them are:
~You must be willing to fund raise.
~You will be willing to make many sacrifices.
~You must be willing to raise awareness.
~You must be willing to pay your own way for all expenses.
~You must be willing to share your experiences with others.
~You must be willing to promote the need for not one, but BOTH Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association AND Michael J. Fox Foundation – Team Fox.
~Although the following is not a requirement, it is usually best if Alzheimer’s has impacted your family (or Parkinson’s) so that you have seen the devastation first hand and can tell others through your own experiences with these diseases.
Raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease is not just an agenda for Enzo. It is also a personal quest. He sees the devastation it has caused in members of his family. He knows of and has lived within its consequences with loved ones – first hand. However, because of the trail he has chosen to walk, he has seen and/or met hundreds, if not thousands of others who have been affected by these diseases. He knows their struggles, their dreams, and often many times, their hopelessness. However, Enzo’s motto: In the quest to conquer Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, we were born to end this! In living his motto, he in turn has revived hope in the people who are afflicted with these diseases.
In his latest climb, he and his team conquered Mt. Kilimanjaro in July of this past year. The climb was filmed and sections of can it be seen in the upcoming documentary, 10 Mountains 10 Years, which is being produced by Back Light Productions. The movie’s introduction is done by Leeza Gibbons, narrated by Anne Hathaway and Bruce Springsteen has contributed his time and talent to the project as well. The film festival locations and dates, however, have not yet been released. This is currently the Regulars’ largest awareness project/fundraiser they’ve currently got in the works.
Their next climb? What originally was to be Aconcagua in Mexico, the Regulars have taken a side trail and substituted “The Army of Change” Mount Washington project in New Hampshire to their list of mountains to conquer. This ‘little jaunt’ was added for the benefit of those who are fighting for a cure for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and are unable (for whatever reason) to conquer an Everest or a Mt. Hood but want to participate in some sort of climb. Because of the magnitude of interest the Regulars are stirring, they hope to get at least a thousand advocates climbing Mt. Washington together this summer. (If you would like to be a part of the Mt. Washington climb taking place on July 31, contact Enzo Simone at the Regular’s website 10mountains10years.)
As I said, it has been almost a year since I first heard about the Regulars. Within that year, they have raised thousands of dollars to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Within a year, they have climbed a minimum of 19, 341 feet – the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Within a year, they have brought considerable attention to their cause – a quest to end these two diseases. Within a year, they have given hope back to those afflicted by two debilitating diseases and enabled them to dream once again because of the attention this team of regular people are bring to these diseases.
If you’d like more information, you can visit their website above or find them on their Facebook page, 10 Mountains, 10 Years. Perhaps within a year, we’ll have witnessed history and seen a cure finally found for Parkinson’s and/or Alzheimer’s disease. Now, wouldn’t that be a mountain top experience!