by Angela Theriault
I am deaf and have Usher syndrome and am currently the director of the Deafblind Service Center in Seattle.
Carolyn, my partner, told me about a wonderful event called “The Big Climb,” which is a large fundraiser in Seattle that raises money and awareness for blood cancers. A woman associated with the event asked people who were visually impaired or deafblind to join as a team and raise money. Each team member was to run up the stairs of a tall building, 1,311 steps high (69 flights and 788 feet of elevation).
I started training the following November near my home using a long flight of stairs. I began slowly, running up the stairs four times, and then gradually increasing my speed. Then, in December, I joined a gym and began using the staircase machine. In addition, I used swimming to increase my cardiovascular endurance.
By the day of the race, we had gathered a large team of 15 people some of whom were hearing and sighted, and others who were deafblind. Each of us was timed on the ascent with a chip timer; this is a timer that is placed around your ankle to keep official track of your start and stop time. My time, at the end of the race, was 17 minutes. I felt so excited just to finish!
The event raised 1.6 million dollars.
Note: This is an excerpt from the book Possibilities: Recreational Experiences of Individuals who are Deafblind, edited by Lieberman, Haegele, and Marquez.
Table of Contents
Credits, Introduction, and Preface
Rachel Weeks- Triathlon
Maricar Marquez- Running
Kristine D’Arbelles- SSP—Swimming Triathlon
Heidi Zimmer- Mountain Climbing
Cody Colchado- Power Lifting
Corrina Veesart- Ballet, Cheerleading, Rock Climbing, and Yoga
Emily Desfor- SSP—Outdoor Adventures
Kevin Frost- Speed Skating
Ryan Ollis- Running
Faye Frez-Albrecht- Soccer
Quinn Burch- Dance, Horseback Riding, and Running
Nicholas Abrahamson- Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Bruce Visser- Traveling
Jason Corning- Running
Sarah K. McMillen- Ice Hockey and Taekwondo
Angela Theriault- Running
Scott Keeler Bass- Biking
Maria Marquez Dykman- Wind Chimes
Conclusion & References