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.


Peter FlynnPeterFlynn

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s
Spokane WA

I was born and raised in the UK. I enjoy going back every few years, but now my life is here on this side of the pond. While living in Boston, MA I met my wife swing dancing. We drove across the country to Portland, OR and stayed for 8 years. We now live in Spokane, WA.

I was diagnosed with PD in 2018 at 54 years of age, and am fortunate to have my wife and three year old daughter by my side. I am currently a stay at home dad. When I am not playing with my daughter, I am fixing up our 1909 tudor style house.

The one thing I keep hearing about PD is that exercise is key to slowing down the disease. I was glad when I heard about the Pacific Crest Trail PD hike because it is a good way to connect with others with PD and it has been on my bucket list to do this trek. I also bike and run to treat my PD.


Laura Hitchens

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s
Bellevue, WA

hutchins

I was an Elementary and Special Education teacher for 8 years until my children were born, after which I became a stay at home mom, with a home business teaching photo scrapbooking classes and selling photo albums and supplies.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015 at the age of 51 and have a goal to live my life to the fullest! I love to read (actually, listen to audio books), cook, create scrapbooks, spend time with my family, and spend time outdoors.  I stay active with Rock Steady Boxing and Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes.

My husband Garth and I are (sometimes) empty-nesters, with two children, one in college and one who has graduated and works in outdoor recreation.   Our family enjoys boating and over the last 20 years, we have enjoyed exploring the inland waterways from Washington to Alaska.

Our family also loves to travel. So far, between us we have explored Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Russia, New Zealand, France, England, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Belgium, Iceland, Africa, Thailand and Norway. More travel is definitely on our bucket list!

I am looking forward to making new friends so we can support each other on the journey to living our best!”


Bill Johnson

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s
Seattle, WA

bjohnson

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.


Daniel KovachDaniel Kovach (2)

Support Hiker

Hi, I’m originally from Cleveland Ohio, but have made the west my home for much of my life. I split time between Seattle and Salt Lake City, balancing work and family. I am an avid skier and mountain hiker, and look forward to my first multi-day backpacking adventure. I have also been a long-time PSIA ski instructor, teaching in Ohio, Vermont and Washington (with Outdoors-for-all, a wonderful organization). I have a personal relationship with Parkinson’s, having been a long-term caregiver in the past. The courage and grit exhibited by the Parkies I’ve crossed paths with over the years have been a constant source of inspiration. Looking forward to this next adventure! And GO BROWNS !


Brian Lorenson

Support Hiker, Trip Leader
Spokane, WA

BrianLorensonProfile2019
Brian

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
Bill

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.


Eric Meyer

Steamboat Springs COEric Meyer
Support hiker

Eric Meyer along with his wife Krista and son, Grady, age 6, enjoy an active adventure life in Steamboat Springs, CO and Moab, UT. They ski, mountain bike and enjoy whitewater rafting. Eric has done portions of the Washington Pacific Crest Trail along with his father, Bill Meyer when he was growing up. Eric is an active founder and volunteer for Routt County Riders, an organization to maintain and create mountain biking trails for a variety of users. He is excited to share this summer’s adventures with his Dad.


Dan ObenchainDan Obenchain (2)

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s
Spokane Valley, WA

I taught Engineering and Architecture classes at University High School for 27 years and retired in June, 2018 after 38 years in public education. I was diagnosed with PD in March, 2017.
I married my wife, Maria, in 1984 and we have 2 adult daughters, Rachel and Alexis. I enjoy woodworking and staying active. After Maria retired, she joined me in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program at the Spokane Central YMCA. Thanks to Serena, Jessica, and Victoria; our instructors for motivating us to stay active and exercise.


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.


Lori Schneider      lori

Support Hiker
Bayfield, WI

For 20 years, I was an elementary and special needs teacher in Steamboat Springs, CO, enjoying skiing, hiking and backpacking.  In 1999, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 43.  Fearing my physical life might be cut short, I began training to climb mountains.  I completed the Seven Summits in 2009, and I learned that our limitations are often self-imposed.  In 2011, I invited a group of people living with MS, Parkinson’s and supportive friends, to Africa and we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. For the past two years I organized a trip to the Bugaboo Mts. in British Columbia, Canada, for people living with PD and MS.  That’s how I met Bill and Nadean, and PTP hikers Laura, Amy, John and Martha.  I am inspired by their strength and lust for life. Over the years I’ve enjoyed some epic treks in South America, Nepal, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, and the Tour Du Mont Blanc in Europe. Life is meant to be lived!


Diane Schuirman-HagedornDianne

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s
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 here and here.)

About six months before my Parkinson’s diagnosis, I set a goal to walk a mile. I far exceeded that earlier this year with the Pass to Pass group on the Joshua Tree trip.

To me living large with Parkinson’s means doing as much as I can for as long as I can, including continuing in my public relations 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. I think those lessons will serve me well on the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m looking forward to both the camaraderie and the physical challenge.


Takahiro Shigemitsu

Living LARGE with Parkinson’s

I am 46 and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2018.
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 coaching youth track & field club at Bellevue, hiking trails, and learning to play golf. I am thrilled to join this hiking group to raise awareness of PD in the community. I am grateful of all PD community’s support through various support groups and event.


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

Parkinson’s Hiker
Redmond, WA

george
George

I am 40 years old living in Redmond, Washington. Have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 2 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. I am very fortunate to discover and participate in 2018 summer hike with P2P and looking forward to upcoming 2019 hike. 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.

 


Leroy Tieskoetter

Parkinson’s HikerLeroy Tieskoetter
Monroe, WA

I was born in Iowa I grew up on a Dairy farm. After my discharge from the military I moved to Seattle For Jobs.  I met friends that liked to hike and other out door activity’s I was Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001 Ever since I have work hard To stay Ahead of Parkinson’s By mostly exercise biking STP, RAGBRAI Doing runs exercise classes, Rock Steady Boxing and now a hike on the Crest Trail. More Fun

 


A.C. Woolnough

A.C. Woolnough
A.C.

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

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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