Judy Richardson

I grew up in England on a farm on the East Anglian Fens, reclaimed marshlands as flat as the prairies. Not a hill in sight! Just wide open skies. I first experienced mountains, albeit small ones, hiking in the Lake District and larger ones skiing in Europe.

In 1970, I immigrated to Canada and spent 2 years in Revelstoke, a small community surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains, which consolidated my love of mountains. I will always remember waking up on my first morning in December to clear blue skies and snow covered mountains – I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I then put on my fashionable suede boots with leather soles and stumbled to work on the icy side walks – falling several times! Fortunately my coping skills of existing in the mountains have improved considerably since then.

I felt very privileged when Pippa invited me to join this very special expedition to Everest Base Camp. At the beginning of June I attended the World Physiotherapy Congress in Vancouver. The keynote speaker, Judith Heumann, herself disabled due to childhood polio, called on us to focus less on curing disabled people and more on collaborating with them to help them towards their aspirations. What a timely message as we plan and prepare for our expedition to support Pippa with her dream to trek in the Himalayan Mountains.