LEADING THE PASStoPASS HIKES
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.
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 my wife Laurie since 1989. 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 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 had DBS a few months before my first trip in 2020.
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.
RICH DENMAN, JULIA CHAPMAN, JERRY JONES
Portland OR – Rich and Jerry are hiking buddies that have explores much of Oregon. The trio of Jerry with Rich and his wife Julia hiked with PtP in 2020 and offered to lead an Oregon hike in 2021. They led a Chinook Pass to White Pass in 2022 and plan a new hike in Oregon with a new set of llamas in 2023.
Julia is famous for her gourmet hiking food she prepares, Rich loves hiking in a kilt and Jerry is a strong llama caretaker- he even knows how to administer charcoal for an upset stomach.
Salt Lake City UT –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 multiday 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 !
Marysville WA – 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!
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 decided to become more involved in the Pass to Pass effort. Since then I’ve led Pass to Pass trips in the North Cascades, the Central Cascades, and the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
2023 promises to be another epic year on the trail and I can’t wait to lace up the boots and kiss the llamas hello!
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 74 when we hike in 2022. My wife and I moved to Washington State in 1980 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.
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.
Bellevue WA –Irene started leading backpacking trips during college and made her living during her 20’s running summer backpacking camps and taking troubled teens on month-long trips in the Cascades. Her mom had Parkinson’s, and the two of them led a support group together. In her 60s, she rediscovered her love of backpacking and took up ice-skating. She is a Feldenkrais Practitioner and Nia teacher, working one-on-one with people with movement challenges to regain comfort and ease and build new skills. She teaches several dance and movement improvement classes each week through Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. She discovered Pass to Pass in 2021, was a support hiker on two trips, and is leading two trips this year. When not working or on the trail, depending on the season, she can be found roller-skating on trails, practicing with her synchronized ice-skating team, or in her garden.
Bellevue WA –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, climbing mountains, and learning to play golf. 2019 was the first passtopass 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 events.
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 July 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
.Judith is a Warrior in Pink, touched by cancer in 2014, and has been cancer-free since. 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
Upland CA –
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.
Redmond WA –I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age of 38 in 2017 . 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. I have hiked every year since, often with my sons My main goal from hiking with PtP 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.