Our Team

Our 2019 Teams


David and Ruth Baumgart  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Support hiker , Trip Leader and Living LARGE with Parkinson’s hiker
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.

Ruth Baumgart is an independent Real Estate broker who manages her own firm in Bellevue, WA. She has enjoyed hiking and backpacking for the past 30 years, ever since she met David. Together, they have 2 sons and a daughter and count 4 young men as their grandsons. They are expecting their first granddaughter in mid-May 2019.

Brian Lance and Esther Hammerschlag

Esther and Brian

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Support Hiker
Winthrop, WA

Brian was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2002 at the age of 44. His outlook on Parkinson’s is to quote Michael J. Fox, “We only can’t if we don’t.” In 2010 he circumnavigated Kayak Island in the Gulf of Alaska – 58 miles of uninhabited (with the exception of brown bears!) cobble beach. He got DBS in 2011 which dramatically improved his ability to move and enjoy life. Brian spent 28 years in Alaska as a wildlife biologist, and has worked all over the state including in the Pribilof Islands, the Arctic Refuge, and Prince William Sound. He’s traveled extensively including to Africa, Ecuador, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Thailand. He has two kids who are now 21 and 23 years old.

Brian and Esther live in the Methow Valley, Washington with their Golden Retriever, Oka. Spending time outdoors and staying active keeps them both ticking, and they love being close to valley’s many mountain biking, hiking and cross-country ski trails. When not out on the trails, they enjoy puttering in the garden, birding, and simply watching the clouds roll by.

Bill Johnson and my nephew Ty Johnson

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s and support hiker
Seattle, WA


My family began hiking and backpacking when I was about ten years old.  My parents followed primitive maps and carried heavy provisions in primitive backpacks, it being the 50s, before USGS maps and freeze-dried food. We hiked into the Goat Rocks Wilderness more than once, to the headwaters of the Tieton River below Gilbert Peak.

Fast forward now some sixty years.  The route of the  PassToPass hike I will do this summer runs north to south through the same Goat Rocks peaks and snowfields that were my  introduction to the wilderness.  I will be returning.

I will be carrying a load of Parkinson’s symptoms, though I am fortunate to still be able to hike.  (I am grateful for improvements in medical treatment and for my access to such treatment.)  I will be following some of my family’s ancient footsteps along the Cascade Crest Trail.  I will also be returning through memory to the struggles of my mother with her Parkinson’s.  Because treatment for her was so primitive, my mother had to give up backpacking long before she was ready.

Last month I asked my nephew Ty if he would like to go along and give me a hand if I should need one. He said, “Yeah, I’d like to do that.” Ty is a big guy, an athlete, and he’s droll. All three of these characteristics will be useful on the trail.


Brian Lorenson

Support Hiker, Trip Leader
Spokane, WA


I’ve been backpacking or climbing for most of my life and in 2016 I was inspired after seeing an interview with Bill about his deep brain stimulator (DBS) and hearing about the inaugural Pass to Pass event. After meeting the group at the kickoff for Pass to Pass 2016, I’ve become more involved in the Pass to Pass effort. The 2017 and 2018 hikes have been some of the most rewarding time I’ve ever spent and I’m looking forward to the 2019 hikes. I’m even starting to love the Llamas!

Bill Meyer

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s – Logistics & Support
Spokane, WA

Bill Meyer photo

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 Peters and Noah Peters

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker
Support Hiker
Colorado Springs, CO

Steve and Noah
Steve and Noah

Noah is 22 and I am 55, we have both been hiking all of our lives, mostly in Colorado. I have had Parkinson’s for the past 10 years and have had DBS since April 2015. I am from PA and Noah is a native of Colorado, where we currently live. My wife and I have been married 31 years as of this July and we also have a daughter who is 28, We are both very excited and honored to go on this hike.


Joe  Quinn and Charlie Quinn

Parkinson’s Neurologist and Support Hiker (Son)
Portland, ORquinns

Joe and Charlie Quinn are a father and son from Portland. Joe grew up on the east coast and started hiking the northwest in 1991 when he moved to Portland to train in neurology. He is now a professor at Oregon & Health Science University and director of the OHSU Parkinson’s center.
Charlie is a native Oregonian, born in Portland and a graduate of the University of Oregon in 2017. He also works at OHSU, doing computer science for the Alzheimer’s Center. His favorite past-time is taking his father on really strenuous hikes as pay-back for the ones he was forced into as a child.

Derek Torry and Seth Torry

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker, Trip Leader
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.

George Trifonov

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker
Redmond, WA


I am 39 years old living in Redmond, Washington. Have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 1 year now. 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 to keep dopamine flowing. With this hike I want to raise awareness that Parkinson’s affect all age groups and help to raise funds for research.

Penny Weagraff and Brynn Esbenshadeweagstaff

Penny is Living LARGE with Parkinson’s in Palouse, WA  Brynn is a support hiker from Federal Way, WA

Penny was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007 at age 44; and had DBS surgery in 2010. She and her husband, Phil, a middle school teacher, raised their four children in the Palouse region of Washington state. During the spring, summer,and fall she loves to be outdoors, biking and hiking as often as she can. Their favorite summer past-times are exploring the Oregon Coast as well as boating, camping, hiking and biking around Lake Coeur d’Alene. Penny and Phil’s daughter, Brynn (along with her husband, Dan) own and operate a gym in Federal Way, WA. They are committed to helping people move and be fit for life. Brynn and Dan are a continual inspiration to Penny to keep going –keep moving –keep trying –never give up. When they have spare time,they enjoy hiking, snowboarding, or just relaxing on a beach somewhere.We are privileged and excited to be part of this trip.

Amy Wilcox

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker
Silverdale, WA

amyI am a wife, mom of 2 amazing young men, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher.   I am 50 years old and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year and a half ago.   I currently spend my days with my amazing kindergarten students.   When I’m not working I like to cook, read, hike, do yoga, and spend time with family and friends.   I’m working very hard to keep a positive attitude and to keep my Parkinson’s from progressing.    I have found that being with people who are focused on being healthy, active, and positive has a huge impact.

I am really excited that so many of them will be on this trip.   I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and hiking the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail.

A.C. Woolnough

A.C. Woolnough

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s Hiker
Sandpoint, ID

A.C. spent more than 35 years in public education as a teacher and principal. He is a second generation PWP and is passionate about PD research. A.C. has participated in over 20 studies and has reviewed and evaluated research grant proposals for the Department of Defense, OHSU and the Parkinson’s Foundation.  He has presented at numerous conferences and writes a monthly magazine column about his journey with PD. Have any questions about World Parkinson Congress?   Call him—A.C. is one of 3 WPC Ambassadors in the US for the 2019 Congress to be held in Kyoto Japan next June.

Brandon Woolnough

Support Hiker
Santee, CA

Brandon Woolnough

Brandon Woolnough is the middle grandson of PD hiker, A.C. Woolnough. Brandon graduated from West Hills HS in Santee, CA in early June. Brandon has traveled to Alaska, Mexico and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here he is on the PCT in California.

Trail Angels

Frank Hagan – Issaquah, WA

Ken Kisch – Sammamish, WA

Dr. Jason Aldred – Spokane, Washington

Molly & Jamie Anderson – Aberdeen, Washington

Paula & Neil Blanchard – Mount Vernon, Washington

Jo Ann Fjellman & Cal Severns – Juanita, Washington

Patty Harold & Sally Friedman – Seattle, Washington

Pete Hendrickson – Bellevue, Washington

Kim Hood – Seattle, Washington

Brian Hyde – Colorado

Wes Isenhart – Black Hawk, Colorado

Dave & Jeanne Jarnes – Spokane, Washington

Mike & Mary Kimmich – Bellingham, WA

Linda Kisch – Sammamish, Washington

Tian Kisch – San Francisco, California

Carrie Lorenson – Spokane, Washington

Cathey Mayhew – British Columbia

Mary McMullen – Issaquah, Washington

Jeff & Mindee Meyer – Bellevue, Washington

Kathie Meyer – Burlington, Washington

Nadean Meyer – Spokane, Washington

Paul Norris & Sue Radtke – Bayfield, Wisconsin

Teri Pieper– Winthrop, WA

Julie Slater – Denver, Colorado

Margie & Fritz Willits – Bellingham, Washington

A.C.  & Pamela Woolnough– Sandpoint, Idaho

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