Our Team

Our 2022 Team

David Baer

Living LARGE with Parkinson’ s Hiker
Sonora, CA

When my parents were married in 1950 they moved to New York because my dad found a job with General Electric. While living there I was born (their first child). A couple years later they moved back to the West Coast (California). All the rest of my family is from California. My introduction to hiking and backpacking came through the Boy Scouts. It quickly became my favorite outdoor sport. Most of my hiking has been in the Emigrant Wilderness (north of Yosemite) and on the Pacific Crest trail. 

Boy Scouts also gave me my first teaching experience. I taught archery at a summer camp near Lake Tahoe. It was a rewarding experience so I decided to try teaching as a job. Unexpectedly it became my career mainly teaching fourth grade in the Sierra foothills.  Recently my wife and I became first time grandparents to a cute, captivating, red – head little girl . I have enjoyed the zoom hiking information meetings. I am looking forward to hiking with my Pass to Pass group .


Support Hiker, Trip Leader
Seattle, WA

David Baumgart has been hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing ever since a family outing to Colorado when he was 17. His favorite mountain is Mt. Rainier which he finally summited on his 5th attempt. David is a volunteer hiking leader for his church, his community, and the Northwest Parkinson’s Association. He always advises his hiking partners, Rule #1 is to stay within their safety comfort zone, and Rule #2 – have fun. His mantra is: “So Many Hikes, so little time.” David is a professional Sr. Project Manager, working for the City of Seattle. David’s wife, Ruth, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s since 2016. They continue to enjoy hiking and backpacking – and their shared adventures as they explore our world. She agrees: their favorite hike is the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier.

Stephen Breese

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hikers-breese
Port Orchard, WA

I am a 73 years old retired educator who grew up in a small rural town in central Illinois. I taught fifth  and sixth grade for twenty years, was a principal and Regional Superintendent for the last ten years of  my career. 

My wife, Marcie and I moved to the state of Washington in 2018 to be closer to our two children who  both decided to settle in Seattle.  

Enjoying the great outdoors has been important to me all my life. In my spare time I enjoy golfing,  walking, hiking, and following the White Sox, Bears and the Illini.  

In July of 2020, I was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease which was most likely linked to my exposure to Agent Orange as an Infantry soldier in Viet Nam. The adventure that just keeps on giving!

Mike Calbaum

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip leader          MikeCalbaumpic
Heartland, WI

I am a 57 year old engineering manager from Wisconsin which, of course, makes me a Green Bay Packers fan.  I have been married to my wife Laurie for 31 years. We have 3 children, a 16 year old daughter in her sophomore year of high school, a 25 year old daughter that graduates from veterinary school in May and a son that graduated from college last year and works for Kohl’s as a data analyst.

I have been on 6 or 7 short, 2 to 3 day backpacking trips in New Mexico, Utah and Michigan over the years but have never been on a hike as long as this one. I am really looking forward to it. This will be my longest backpacking trip in both days and miles. I like to keep busy playing golf, hiking, biking, hunting, kayaking and skiing or anything that involves being outdoors and active. I was diagnosed with PD in 2011 and I am scheduled for DBS a few months before the trip.

I look on every day as my personal battle with PD. I win every day that I do not let it define me or prevent me from doing the things that I love. I look forward to spending a week with other Parkies and seeing them win their personal battles.

Bill Clugston

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hikerclugston
Auburn, WA

My name is Bill Clugston and I am a Person with Parkinson’s Disease ( PD). I was diagnosed slightly over 7 years ago, and at the time of diagnosis, I was already deep into the hobby of astrophotography. I was determined to continue with astrophotography and hone my skills even further while living with Parkinson’s Disease.

I stay active by walking, doing Tai Chi, and participating in a local exercise program for persons with Parkinson’s Disease named Neurofit. I believe staying active is one of the best ways to slow the progression of PD and helps to maintain a positive attitude while living with the disease, I’ll be doing one of the Pass-to-Pass hikes this year to further promote my belief that staying active can slow PD.

I’m currently an active retiree busy at work with all my activities I couldn’t do while earning a living at the Region 10 office of the USA EPA. I have a wonderful life partner in my wife, Sandy and two grown children, James and Kaitlyn, both have left the nest and are living their own lives. Four creatures, two dogs (Zeke and Riley) and two cats ( Rocky and Bacall) also make my life interesting in strange and creative ways. My other hobbies include playing Native American flute, trying to learn new languages, and traveling to remote place in the United State with my recreational vehicle when I ‘m not fixing something on it. My next stop will be the Big Rock Wilderness in southern Nevada. I hope to put in a little training for the hike while I’m there for a week.

Rich Denman and Julia Chapman

Living LARGE With Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip Leaders  
Support Hiker, Trip Leader
Portland, OR

Rose Gallagher

Support Hikerrose
Point Lookout, NY

Hi. My name is Rose Gallagher, and I am a support hiker.  I live in Long Island, NY where I teach physical therapy and conduct research focusing on exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease.  I have had a love of the hiking and the outdoors since I was young, and love to camp, hike, kayak and ski, among other outdoor activities.  I was introduced to backpacking after college when leading backpacking trips for young teenagers in the Rocky Mountains for a summer.  I am very involved in the Rock Steady Boxing program held on our campus and am co-coordinator for a local PD support group.  I am thrilled to have been introduced to Pass to Pass and see it as a way to combine my love of hiking and exercise with my interest in Parkinson’s disease.  I look forward to the adventure!

Diane S. HagedornDianne

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, PtP Vice-President
Tacoma, WA

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 at https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/my-long-journey-to-a-parkinsons-diagnosis/ and https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/working-full-time-with-yopd/.)

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.

Dan KovachDaniel Kovach (2)

Support Hiker, Trip Leader
Salt Lake City, UT


Ann Lane

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker  lane
Evergreen, CO

I am a 58 – soon to be 59 – former natural resources attorney, living in the foothills west of Denver in Evergreen, Colorado, and thrilled to be part of Pass to Pass, and the opportunity to backpack in the Pacific Northwest.  My husband Tim and I have now been married for 28 years and have two boys. Declan, my oldest, is graduating in May from University of San Diego, and we are all hoping he will have a job soon.  Quinn is 15, a freshman in high school, is working on his driver’s license.  Both boys are avid hockey players, and we spend a great deal of time in ice rinks and watching the Colorado Avalanche.  As a family we also love to camp, fly-fish and play golf.  Although I frequently hike in the many trails right outside my door, it has been a few years since I’ve been backpacking, so I am planning a couple of shorter trips early this before heading to Oregon in August.

I self-diagnosed myself as having Parkinson’s in 2015 after my son and husband noticed I wasn’t swinging my left arm while walking, and my doctor confirmed it the following year.  Exercise and a strong support group have made a huge difference in my Parkinson’s battle, although I have now learning, after a lifetime of always having to be first on the trail, that being in the middle or even the back of the group isn’t so bad – as long as I can keep going.

Linda Lee


Support Hiker, Trip Leader, PtP Secretary
Marysville, WA

My dad moved our family from Florida to Western Washington when I was 8 years old. I vividly remember my grandmother crying and my dad telling her we would give it a year and then move back. Well, my dad instantly fell in love with the mountains and the Puget Sound and needless to say we never moved back to Florida! I grew up backpacking and sailing with my dad.

I have a passion for backpacking and am committed to the benefits of exercise on 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. I find so much inspiration in watching others push through challenges to continue to live a full and adventurous life. I want to live with that same strength, determination and vitality no matter what comes my way. I am looking forward to sharing the love of the mountains, the love of adventure and the love of a challenge with others on the PasstoPass hikes this summer!

Brian Lorenson

Support Hiker, Trip Leader, PtP President
Spokane, WA

Brian Lorenson


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.


Eric Matson

Support Hiker, Trip Leadermatson
Bellevue, WA

I am a retired corporate lawyer who finds special joy in outdoor adventures, particularly wilderness experiences.  The opportunity to help others experience that joy is a very gratifying.  I will be 73 when we hike in 2021.  My wife and I moved to Washington State 41 years ago and have experienced many outdoor adventures together and with our kids over the years, in the Pacific NW and far beyond.  In recent years we have done more expedition and wilderness sea kayak trips than backpacking, but among my (our) favorite backpacking adventures have been two completions of the Wonderland Trail (once in each direction), Section J of the PCT from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass, several trips into the upper Enchantments, the Goat Rocks Wilderness section of the PCT, the Coast-to-Coast walk across northern England, and the Olympic Coast North trail. I also enjoy day hikes, snowshoeing, X-C skiing, kayak day paddles, and playing pickleball.

Bill Meyer

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s

 Logistics & Support, PtP Treasurer Bill-Gina
Spokane, WA

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.

Steve Moody

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker,

Trip Leadermoody
Seattle, WA

I am a 61 year old Seattleite that officially became a PwP in July of 2020.  It was in that summer’s edition of the APDA’s Parkinson Pathfinder publication that I became aware of the Pass to Pass opportunity.  Wow, just what I appeared to need after experiencing unusual muscle fatigue on two recent multi-night backpacking trips through the north cascades…Llamas to ease the load!  I enjoyed my first PtP trip in August of 2021 and look forward to continuing to explore the beauty of the Pacific NW with others that are learning to look at life through a different lens. In addition to camping, backpacking and hiking I enjoy cooking with my wife and biking.

Irene Pasternack

Support Hiker,  Trip leader     Irene_Pasternack
Bellevue, WA


DawnElla and Rusty Rust

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s and Support Hiker  DMRpic
Nacogdoches, TX

Dr. DawnElla M. Rust received her terminal degree in Health Promotions from Oklahoma State University.  She has been employed as a Community Health Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at Stephen F. Austin State University since 1997.  Her life goal is to make healthy the easy choice through policy, environmental change, and system change.  Making healthy easy took on new meaning when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010 at the age of  47.  She continues to work full-time.  She loves to move and credits her slow progression of Parkinson’s to her dedication to exercise. For 32 years her husband, Rusty Rust has provided unrelinquished support and love. They enjoy being active together. An inspiration to both of them is their blind Blue Healer, Pistol Pete. DawnElla believes if Pistol Pete can maneuver life without sight, she can live well with Parkinson’s.


Takahiro Shigemitsu

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip Leader
Bellevue, WA

I am 48 years old and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2018 at age 45.
I have a wife and 2 children and they are my primary motivation to become more active and fight this disease.
Outside of work, I enjoy boxing class for PD, hiking trails, and learning to play golf. 2019 was the first pass2pass hike I joined and it was spectacular!! I am very fortunate and thrilled to join this hiking group again this year to raise awareness of PD in the community. I am grateful of all PD community’s support through various support groups and event.

Tammy Sloan Smith

Support Hiker    
Durango, CO    tammy

HI! My name is Tammy Sloan Smith and I will be a support hiker for Ann Lane. We have been friends for 40 years and have had many wonderful adventures over the span of our friendship. I feel so honored to be a part of Ann’s journey.
I live in Durango, Colorado, CO and have been married to my husband Mark for 29 years. I have 2 daughters, Hannah (25) and Sadie (22). I enjoy backpacking, hiking, biking, skiing and horseback riding.

Some of my backpacking/trekking experiences include the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii,  the Grand Canyon, hiking to the basecamp of Kangchenjunga in Nepal, climbing Colorado 14ers, portions of the Colorado Trail and climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Judi Spencer 288FB403-9ADE-4036-AEC8-5A6231CA8D91_4_5005_c

Support Hiker, Trip Leader
East Graham, WA

Judi Spencer was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, skiing and hiking the Canadian Rockies.  “The Mountains are Calling” is a phrase she uses often, knowing it is time to head to the beauty and peace of the outdoors.

Judi’s father, Ken Pritchard, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1995 and she has been involved with the Parkinson’s community from that point forward.  Today Judi is a music specialist leading rhythm, music and vocal workshops, performs as a concert marimba artist and is an inspirational speaker. She has lobbied in both Canada and the United states as a Parkinson’s advocate and currently is the WPC Choir Director, opening the World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon (2016) and Kyoto, Japan (2019).  The next WPC conference is scheduled for June 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

.Judith is a Warrior in Pink, touched by cancer in 2014, and has been cancer-free for 6 years. Judi and her husband currently live in Graham, Washington, near their three sons and four grandchildren. Judi’s Pass to Pass name, given on her debut hike in 2020, “Songbird”. www.JudiSpencer.com

Derek Torry 

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip Leader, PtP Vice President
Support Hiker
Upland, CA

Derek and Seth
Derek and Seth

Diagnosed 6 years ago at 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 16.

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.

Georgy  and Vladimir Trifonov

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip Leader
Redmond, WA


I am 41 years old living in Redmond, Washington. Have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age of 38 . I have a wife and 3 sons, 1 daughter and family is my main motivation to keep moving and fight Parkinson. I enjoy doing non contact boxing classes, playing ice hockey, hiking, biking  to keep dopamine flowing. I am very fortunate to discover and participate in 2018 and 2019 summer hike with P2P and looking forward to upcoming 2020 hike with my son. My main goal from hiking with P2P is to raise awareness that Parkinson’s affect all age groups and show that staying physically and socially active as much important as your meds.


Mary Verbeck  maryV

Support Hiker
Bend, OR

I grew up backpacking in the Sierra’s with my parents, 2 sisters and even my grandfather. Imagine not seeing anyone else for days. Little did I realize how lucky I was to grow up this way. I have lived in the mountains most of my life. Even though there have been many years when I did not backpack, I have always hiked. I currently live in Bend, Oregon.


  1. Julie Walker says:

    This is great!
    I too have early onset PD….9 years in.
    Would love to connect with any others because…let’s be real…this can be a lonely journey if you don’t reach out.

    I’m in Maryland but my father was from Washington state.


  2. JOANN EBBETT says:

    Looking forward to Hike #5 in August!! JoAnnnnnnnnnnn


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