PASStoPASS LEADERSHIP & OFFICERS
A lifelong outdoorsman and Spokane native, Brian was inspired after seeing an interview with Bill about his deep brain stimulator (DBS). Since meeting this group at the kickoff for Pass to Pass in 2016, Brian researched and geared up for ultra light backpacking. Combining these two events brought him back to Bill to see how he could help out in 2017.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys brewing beer and his 1970 MGB (separately, of course!). His plans for this summer include kayaking with his wife, Carrie, as much as possible.
In 2014, at age 42, my nearly six-year medical mystery was solved: young-onset Parkinson’s disease. For me, diagnosis and appropriate medication and treatment meant I regained some physical function: I had gone from walking five miles a day to literally not being able to walk around the block. You can read more about my Parkinson’s journey here and here.
About six months before my Parkinson’s diagnosis, I set a goal to walk a mile. I far exceeded that in 2019 with the Pass to Pass group. To me, living large with Parkinson’s means doing as much as I can for as long as I can, including continuing in my career, spending quality time with family and friends, and taking on new challenges.
My childhood was filled with many hours outdoors trail riding on horseback with my 4-H club and Backcountry Horsemen. From those experiences I learned patience, perseverance and the importance of preparation. Those lessons continue to serve me well. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces and making new memories on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Diagnosed in 2012 at age 40, I have Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Like many of my fellow hikers, PD has pushed me to be more active than before my diagnosis. I’m an optimist who is eager to do all I can to make a cure for PD a reality and encourage other Parkies as they live life with PD. I’m on the board of the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center and Drive Toward a Cure. I volunteer as the Assistant Scoutmaster for my son’s Boy Scout Troop. This troop backpacks over 100 miles a year, we’re on the trail almost every month…and I’m usually on every trip, bagging another peak with the troop.
And I always backpack with my son, Seth. This makes him a natural fit on the team this year as a support hiker. In the last 3 years he and I have logged over 75 nights on the trail and over 300 miles. Seth holds the rank of Second Class scout and may be First Class by the start of this year’s trip. We enjoy trailer camping and fishing too. I’m married to an awesome wife and we have a beautiful daughter who is graduating from college.
My trail name is The Hulk, not just because of my massive muscular body (haha), but because I’m usually wearing a green shirt on the trail.
I have a passion for the outdoors and for backpacking and am committed to the benefits of exercise in the aging and disease process. My family has a history of Parkinson’s Disease, so when I learned about PasstoPass, I was excited to become involved. It is so inspiring to hike alongside people who have such a zest for life, and a positive determination and strength to push through the challenges of Parkinson’s to continue to live a full and adventurous life.
I have been involved with PasstoPass since 2020. In that time, I have observed firsthand the impact that the camaraderie of PD hikers, the goal of completing the hikes, the support and sharing amongst the hikers, and the laughter and fun have had on individuals living with PD. I look forward to continuing to share the love of the mountains, the love of adventure and the love of a challenge with others on the PasstoPass hikes this summer!
Founder and Sr. Advisor
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009 at age 57 and had DBS (deep brain stimulation) in 2015. DBS has controlled 90% of my tremors and reduced my medications by half. I have always been active in the outdoors enjoying hiking, rafting, skiing and fishing.
I’ve logged over 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and rafted many rivers in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Alaska. My wife, Nadean, two children, three grandsons and my Pedaling for Parkinson’s coach all remind me to keep moving and enjoy life with a positive attitude.
Takahiro (Hiro) Shigemitsu
After his diagnosis in 2018, Hiro got involved with Pass to Pass after being introduced to the organization by a local support group. Hiking has allowed him to stay positive and stay active. He says that he is probably in the best shape he has ever been in. He has hiked 6 trips since with Pass to Pass (including 2 John Muir Trail trips) and is always looking for a new challenge. He hopes that through Pass to Pass, others with PD are also gaining the confidence and hope that hiking has given him.
When he’s not hiking, Hiro likes computers, especially helping his daughter with her computer science homework. He also loves reading in the mornings and talking about cars with his son.