FRASER – This month, Fraser resident Lauren “LP” Panasewicz will lead the summit of Cotopaxi, an epic volcanic mountain in Ecuador, alongside a group of 16 amputee and non-amputee athletes. This is part of The Range of Motion Project’s eighth annual Climbing for ROMP campaign. Climbing for ROMP is the Range of Motion Project’s largest global campaign of the year, bringing together hundreds of people around the world to raise funds for prosthetic care and raise awareness of the inequitable distribution of aids worldwide. Through this global campaign, the project aims to raise $150,000 that will fund quality prosthetic care and services for 100 patients in the Range of Motion project.
ROMP is a Colorado-based non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring access to quality prosthetic care for underserved amputees and improving independence and mobility.
“Growing up in Colorado, I have been very active my entire life, including soccer, skiing, running, hiking and rock climbing. A serious injury in my 20s left me unable to work for an extended period of time, leading to reduced mobility, chronic pain and eventually depression,” LP told Sky-Hi News. “This experience made me realize how important our physical mobility is for the rest of our lives and that it has been a natural part of my life. I value my own mobility and now, through my work with ROMP, am fighting for access to prosthetic care for others so they can regain their mobility and independence.”
Panasewicz does more than lead the climb; She is also the development director for the nonprofit organization. Panasewicz has helped raise over $500,000 over the past 7 years through Climbing for ROMP and this will be her 5th Cotopaxi Summit for ROMP since she joined the organization in 2016.
Each year, Climbing for ROMP brings together amputee and non-amputee athletes from North and South America, including ROMP patients, to climb Cotopaxi. The stratovolcano in the Andes is one of the tallest in the world and, at 19,347 feet, the second highest peak in Ecuador. Through their rise, the team has an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 for ROMP, with a $50,000 goal for community donations.
The 2022 team includes cancer survivor and paratriathlete Kyle SteppPro trail runner Zach FriedleyThree-time Paralympic gold medalist Brenna Huckaby and many more. The mission is to show the world that with access to the right technology, no mountain is too high. Grand County businesses, The Real Estate Company-Mountain Division, Middle Park Health Orthopedics and Hideaway Park Brewery all helped support Panasewicz’s campaign.
“There is no greater gift than seeing someone walk after losing a limb and witnessing the joy, confidence and hope they have when they know someone cares about their health care, prosthetics and… cares about their results,” Panasewicz said. “It’s really life-changing.”
On Saturday, September 17th, Panasewicz will host a climb/bike for ROMP at Winter Park Resort. The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and participants are welcome to come by anytime. Cyclists are encouraged to complete as many laps as possible at Trestle Bike Park. Hikers will hike up the Ute Trail alongside Panasewicz and ride the gondola down as many times as possible to raise money and awareness for ROMP. The hike is approximately 2 miles with an elevation gain of 1,600 and takes approximately 1-1.5 hours. After the hike or bike ride, everyone is invited to Hideaway Park for a beer and fundraiser for the mission. For those interested in participating in or making a donation to the Winter Park Climb, please visit Give.RompGlobal.org/winterparkchallenge.
For those unable to attend the Winter Park Challenge, they still have an opportunity to get involved and support ROMP. Climbing for ROMP is a free and virtual campaign accessible to anyone, anywhere. The organization invites the global community to figuratively join them on any date between September 24th and October 9th by getting outside, wherever they live. By being outside and taking on a personal “mountain” or physical challenge, participants can help ROMP sufferers take their first steps toward their own peaks. ROMP uses the term “ascension” as a metaphor denoting the ongoing struggle for mobility. Through these increases in solidarity, the ROMP community will raise an additional $50,000 towards ROMP’s mission. Those interested in joining or donating to this virtual global movement can visit RompGlobal.org/climbing-for-romp.
“We are in a unique position to use our own mobility to help amputees receive the prosthetic treatment and technology they need to redefine their potential,” said David Krupa, co-founder of ROMP.
Climbing for ROMP 2022 is supported by Hydro Flask, Mountain Hardwear, Osprey Packs, Royal Bank of Canada, Cumbre Tours, Click Medical, Utah Toyota Dealers and the Kirstie Ennis Foundation. There are still partnership opportunities for brands and funders to support ROMP’s values and vision. To date, ROMP has performed over 12,500 patient visits, delivered more than 4,300 devices, and raised more than $11 million in fundraising and in-kind donations since 2005. For more information about ROMP, its programs, and how you can get more involved, visit RompGlobal.org or contact Panasewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story is from SkyHiNews.com.