On September 27, 2019, a group of elite amputee and non-amputee athletes from North and South America, including ROMP patients, will climb Ecuador’s 19,347-foot volcano Cotopaxi. This is our signature Climbing for ROMP event, and our Elite Team will show the world that when amputees have access to proper technology, no mountain is too high.

The ROMP Elite Team makes up a unique and diverse group of individuals who have faced, endured and overcome obstacles from all walks of life, and have chosen to climb on behalf of ROMP to help us provide better prosthetic care for all. 

This team has raised nearly $100,000 so far for the Range of Motion Project. That is enough to help 100 amputees in need get access to high quality prosthetic care through ROMP’s programs and clinics. 

The rest of the world is invited to participate in a climb this summer in solidarity to honor the Ecuador team. To date, we have successfully organized 50 climbs this year and raised $125,000 and counting! Visit www.rompglobal.org/climbing-for-romp to get involved. 

Help us celebrate our successful summer of Climbing for ROMP and cheer on our Elite Team as they attempt to summit Cotopaxi.

Meet the 2019 ROMP Elite Team!

Name Sara Kieser

What does mobility mean to you?  

Mobility is having the ability to fulfill the desire to move! Whether it’s a movement as complex as running up a mountain, or as simple as hugging a family member or friend 🙂 

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

Working with pain management and injury recovery clients through Patrick Cross’s clinic, Unlock Bodyworks!

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

Sky’s the limit and there is always room for improvement. 

What’s your day job?

Sports massage! 

Why are you #climbing4romp?

Getting prosthetic care to people in need is a mission I believe in and one that gets more achievable the more people believe. 

What’s your spirit animal? Hmm… Maybe a really, really fat mountain goat? 

 

Name Micah Ness  | @wildernesspro @silverlinefilms @groovering @heatherschoice @micahness

What does mobility mean to you? 

Mobility means having the ability to pursue a passion and a goal that can start in the physical and lead to affecting the mental and spiritual. To have nothing holding one back from living life to the fullest.

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I met LP while rafting the Grand Canyon, and heard stories around the campfire about the incredible things that ROMP was doing to impact people’s lives, and I wanted to be a part of it, which eventually led to joining and documenting the Elite Climbing for ROMP Team expedition in 2018.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Black water scuba dive, 60 ft deep with zero visibility.

Why are you #climbing4romp?

I love to share people’s stories, and use visual tools to inspire others, and I strive to share this #climbing4romp adventure to spread the message and impact with the world.

Name Sandy Dukat @skiersandy

How did you lose your limb?  It was congenital 

What would life be like for you without access to prosthetic care?

Almost unimaginable. Not sure I would have the confidence and strength to be who I am today if I didn’t have prosthetic care and the support of an amputee community.

What does mobility mean to you?   Independence and Freedom

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

No one gets to define my disability, that job is up to me. It pushes me to live my best active life, every day. 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Swam from Alcatraz Island to the shore of San Francisco. Never so scared of sharks in my life! But swam my fastest time!

Why are you #climbing4romp?

Everyone deserves prosthetic care- it’s not a luxury item, it’s a human right.

 

Name Julie Tolleson | @f45trainingStapleton

How did you lose your limb?  Bicycle crash and failed repairs

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

Found ROMP within two weeks of my amputation by attending an event at REI

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

That only a small percentage worldwide of people with limb loss have access to ANY prosthetic care. That is stone age crazy.

What’s your biggest fear?   Failure, rejection, aging, and spiders 🙂 

What’s your day job? Education lawyer

Why are you #climbing4romp?

To see what I can achieve so that others will try, and to raise money for an unbelievably worthy cause.

What is your spirit animal?  Hawk

Name Pam Zaske

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

Spouse had an amputation. We were looking to be active after the amputation and learned about ROMP.

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

There are so many people that live in developing countries that don’t have access to basic prosthetic care, making that person truly disabled.

Favorite food and/or dessert?

Ice Cream

Why are you #climbing4romp?

Supporting and participating with my spouse, while working for a good cause.

What is your spirit animal?

Kangaroo/Wolf

Name Estefania Cervantes   | estefania_cervantes.mx

How did you lose your limb?  I am an above-knee amputee, due to a car accident in 2011. 

What would life be like without access to prosthetic care?

I cannot imagine my life without a prosthesis. For eight years, it has been part of my life. It has helped me to live a productive, blessed and fulfilling life. Being an amputee has presented me so many opportunities to become a better human, to meet awesome people around the world, to achieve different goals and to have a big purpose in my life, change the life of people with limb loss.

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I have attended the Amputee Coalition Annual Event twice. I have met ROMP on that event. I am inspired and aligned with the vision, passion and commitment of the founders. The cause matters to the world. Climbing mountains as a way to raise funds, have fun and make the cause visible to the world, is simply outstanding. I am the founder of a nonprofit in Mexico that support people with limb loss. Last year, we started the partnership with ROMP helping an amputee with prosthetic components, as a pilot project. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

ROMP is a reference in the world, a leading organization that is acquiring new and used components from the United States and sending them to people in developing countries. They are also spreading the cause with a creative way of raising funds, climbing mountains. 

Favorite food and/or dessert? I love sushi and strawberries and bananas

Why are you #climbing4romp?

One of the things I love is to try new things in my life. This volunteering activity is one of the most amazing things I have done. The big things are conquered in teams with the commitment and determination to make it happen. I am a winner, I love to be surrounded by people who conquer big dreams, and help others reach their own.

Name Joel Booth | @halfpricepedis

How did you lose your limb? 

IED blast in Afghanistan 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

Quality prosthetic care is lacking in many parts of the world and ROMP is a shining example of what it means to support and enrich your community. 

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

My family 

What’s your day job?

Supply Chain Solutions Manager

Why are you #climbing4romp?

To show the world what a huge impact prosthetic limbs can make in one’s life. 

What is your spirit animal? Otter

Name Kirstie Ennis  | @kirstie_ennis @thekirstieennisfoundation

How did you lose your limb? 

Complications from helicopter crash in Afghanistan 

What does mobility mean to you?  

Making my dreams become realities 

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

My mantra is it’s the six inches between your ears and what’s behind your rib cage that dictates what you’re capable.

What is your biggest fear?  Frostbite on my nub. 

What’s your day job?  Real estate, public speaker/figure, entrepreneur 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?  Climbed Everest 

Why are you #climbing4romp?

To show that the possibilities are endless given you are willing to work for them; to create inclusion and accessibility for all

Name Kionte Storey | @kiontestorey

How did you lose your limb? 

Improvised Explosive Device while deployed overseas to Afghanistan

What would life be like without access to prosthetic care?

Life would be more difficult and frustrating to navigate.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

Never Quit

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Everything I do is pretty much the craziest thing I have ever done! Probably climbing in Antarctica 

Favorite food and/or dessert?

Anything breakfast 😀 

Why are you #climbing4romp?

To empower others to be more active

Name Jason Jones and Mary Helen Jacobus

What does mobility mean to you? 

Jason: Mobility represents change, access to opportunity, and improvement in quality of life. 

Mary: Freedom to explore and learn.

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

Jason: Having lost a brother to Muscular Dystrophy in 1985, I find value in working with disabled adults and children through volunteer work. While working with the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park I signed up for a climb with ROMP almost three years ago and have been climbing with them ever since!

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

Determination goes a long way, never take your health for granted, and make everything count.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Jason: Quitting our jobs, selling our house and living in a tent on top of our Toyota FJ Cruiser while driving wherever the wind took us.

Mary: Sold my home and lived in a tent

Favorite food and/or dessert? 

Jason: Tex Mex.  Mary: Tacos

Why are you #climbing4romp?

Jason: I am inspired by those with physical disabilities that push themselves physically and mentally much further than most able bodied people will ever do in their lifetimes. It inspires me to push myself physically as well.

Mary: To face some of my fears and hopefully push through them.

Name Juan Diego Vasconez  | @jd_vascon @thenomadchallenge.co

What does mobility mean to you?  

Mobility means to me the will to enjoy life, challenge yourself and go beyond limits

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I am part of the ROMP Global team. I met  David Krupa in an adventure film festival in Ecuador two years ago.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

Nothing is for keeps except that we must keep going. You will spend your entire life searching, ok? We all want to belong, so let’s get along. Make the most, and hope. May this never end.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Free Solo Rock Climbing

Why are you #climbing4romp?

As an engineer, entrepreneur and adventurer,  I am in constant search of committing to causes in favor of vulnerable people around the world, and empowering individuals to travel with purpose and take care of nature. Beyond the physical challenge, this summit is dedicated to those who think and act in terms of SUSTAINABILITY, CARE and RECIPROCITY.

Name Rebecca Boozan | @rebeccaboozan @zootsports @garmin@smithoptics @zealios #beatyesterday @coachadamstpierre @paradoxsports

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know? 

Together we can provide adaptive services and prosthetic care to everyone 

What’s your biggest fear?

Spiders

What’s your day job?

Regional Sales Manager at Splunk> + VictorOps

Favorite food and/or dessert?

Tacos

Why are you #climbing4romp?

To help provide greater visibility and access to prosthetic care in order to give others the freedom to live their best life

What is your spirit animal?   Unicorn

Name Karl Schroeder | @archipelagoclubs @thekarlschroeder @estesparkmountainshop 

What does mobility mean to you? 

To me, mobility is a context. It is literally created by creating it. When you recognize that you have the power of mobility, then you simply need to be willing to be responsible for creating it, without reason, without the props of evidence – to simply say ‘this shall be’. Most people demobilize themselves. Others show us what’s possible within a powerful context of mobility and the willingness to act upon it. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

That committed, creative people can actually change the world. In fact, we’re the only ones who do. We can do it right now, and we can make more change than we can possibly imagine.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

“All good things are wild and free.” 

What’s your biggest fear?   Missing out.

What’s your day job?   I am a coach to leaders and I lead high performing teams. 

Why are you #climbing4romp?   Because I like the way it makes me feel!

Name Sara Lucio Paredes | @sarilucioparedes 

How did you lose your limb?  Fracture and multiple surgery complications 

What would life be like without access to prosthetic care?

It would be a lot harder to achieve my goals, probably won’t be able to practice sports in the way I want to, and most likely depending on others for things.

What does mobility mean to you? 

Everything. It is part of the way we express ourselves and achieve our dreams, it gives us the possibility to go wherever we want. Mobility is not just something we have as a luxury, it is a way to display our talent and human form, it is everything.

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I met David Krupa, my prosthetist, he invited me to help ROMP and I love it. I fell in love with the concept, the cause, the difference they were making. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

Amputees deserve to be taken care of, their access to prosthetic care should be a priority. Mobility is not a luxury, it is a human right, and we all have the same rights.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day? I am a Girl, I am smart and I am strong, and I can do anything.

What’s your day job?  Translator and lawyer

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Climbing Rucu on a loose test socket after not doing any kind of sports for eight years

Name Dave Bernhardt

What does mobility mean to you?  

Mobility means the invigoration of every sense that makes life magical. It means the sweeping views on top of a mountain, the pine smell on a wooded trailhead, sweat pouring down your brow after a long run, the windburn on your cheeks at the end of a ski run. It means quality time with friends, family, pets and loved ones. Mobility means self-respect, pride and purpose. Everyone is entitled to be mobile. 

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

Did my first climb with ROMP three years ago. I connected with the people, the cause and the community and have been committed ever since. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

As a military veteran my exposure to amputees was only with those that lost a limb in combat or a military exercise. I never realized that the vast majority of amputees have lost limbs due to disease, car accidents and natural disasters. I had no concept that access to prosthetics and care was an issue for 98% of amputees. 

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day? I haven’t been everywhere, but I really want to go! 

What’s your day job? Airline Pilot

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Climbed a 19,000 foot volcano with ROMP!

Name Steve Hansen

What does mobility mean to you?  

Mobility is everything to me. Having a sister in a wheelchair that can’t walk and seeing how it not only impacts her but also those that support her daily. It is something I have never taken for granted.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

The idea of trying to be uncomfortable each day. Without pushing yourself in various ways, you can’t learn or grow as a person. 

Favorite food and/or dessert?

I would have to say a good vanilla milkshake always hits the spot.

Why are you #climbing4romp?

I get to accomplish two things with this climb. Support a great cause and help spread the word about it, but also I am able to push myself and try something new while spending time with some great people.

Name David Krupa | @dkrupa28 @krupaop @proteus.ecuador

How did you lose your limb?  Congenital birth defect led to amputation

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I am the co-founder of ROMP

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

I want the world to know that ROMP transforms lives, creates human connections, battles relentlessly for social justice in healthcare, and will never stop advocating for the human right of every amputee to access quality prosthetic care, rehabilitation, and support. 

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi (This quote is on the front cover of the notebook I use everyday while sketching prosthetic designs for my patients.) 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? 

Perhaps the craziest thing I’ve ever done was to quit my job, sell my possessions, and move to rural Guatemala to build the ROMP clinic and team. That’s the best craziest thing I ever decided to do. 

Favorite food and/or dessert? I love food of all types but at the heart of it all is my absolute love and passion for…EGGS

Why are you #climbing4romp?

I am #climbing4ROMP so that this event can grow into the largest Mobility Movement in the world harnessing the power of tens of thousands of climbers in order to create a future where every amputee, everywhere can access the quality prosthetic care that they need in order to reach their own personal summits in life.

Name Megan Fisher | @Megan Fisher  @MegFisher  @GoMegFisher 

How did you lose your limb? 

When I was 19 years old as a result of complications following a car accident.  

What would life be like without access to prosthetic care?

I am profoundly grateful to my prosthetist and his team fitting me with a prosthetic which allows me to live a productive, fun, fulfilling, and mostly pain-free life. While insurance is a source of frustration, I must still be grateful for its ability to ease the financial burden. I choose not to spend time imagining what life would be like, if I had two legs again. Life would be different… Though I would not be where I am today if I had two legs.  

What does mobility mean to you? 

My mobility impacts every aspect of my life. Being able to stand to reach my coffee cup, walk to the bathroom, carry objects in my hands, care for others in my job as a doctor of physical therapy, care for my house, do my dishes, take out the trash… you name it. Mobility matters. While my life is not defined by my mobility my mood is impacted by my ability to move. When I hurt or it is hard to move, I feel sad, frustrated, scared, small and tired. 

What’s your day job? Doctor of Physical Therapy

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t know the answer to this one. 24hr mountain bike races?? Swimming with whale sharks in the open ocean? Chasing cows on horseback during a lightening storm???

Name Darrell Jackson

Why are you #climbing4romp?

Beyond the amazing experience that Cotopaxi is, I want to meet the athletes that have amputated limbs. I think that their determination and spirit must be overwhelming and infectious.  Telling others about something that excites you and gives your pride is second nature, it’s the conversations that people enjoy. I was so active growing up when you are learning how to cope with things. Long backpacking trips in sometimes adverse conditions put you outside your norm and challenge your mental state just as much as your physical. Attitude is the biggest strength or weakness of any person on a trip (and life). 

What does mobility mean to you?

The ability to do what you want regardless of what appears to be a limitation. Find a solution and move on.  

If you could go on a hike with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My uncle Charlie. The man is a legend in my eyes and I always love to hear his old stories. He is also Colorado native and was my hero growing up. He is a professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and still a free spirit. Once the school year ends, he closes up his house and spends the whole summer camping. He was a roady for The Dead, an avid cyclist and climber. He got a speeding ticket on a ten-speed going down Colorado Boulevard in the 70’s, and then rode that bike across Canada camping along the way. He has crack climbs in New Mexico he named and even remembers climbing Red Rocks. I still have some of his old hex nuts and a harness that he sewed himself because he was tired of hand tying it out of webbing. His days of climbing are over but still has the grip strength of an alligator. Not only has he done all these cool things, he isn’t arrogant and accepts everyone for everyone. Just the definition of a friend and cool guy.

Name Greg Krupa

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I love ROMP with my heart, my soul, down to my bones and up through my skin and out my finger nails. I was born a ROMPster before ROMP was even born. Thanks hermano.

What does mobility mean to you?

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without it, all those things are possible, but much more difficult. 

If you could go on a hike with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Nelson Mandela. I’d love to simply hear him speak about change and how to manage intense personal suffering while forgiving his captors.

Name Dustin Nyhus

What does mobility mean to you?

Freedom

Why are you #climbing4romp?

ROMP is amazing!

If you could go on a hike with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Yvon Chouinard, in my opinion he has defined how people should build businesses and live life. 

Name Lauren Panasewicz (LP) | @lpizz87

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I was and still am an adaptive ski instructor. I love sharing my joy of skiing with others, no matter their physical ability. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

I’ve learned how to coordinate a 28 person, global mountaineering trip without losing my mind. It’s just as strenuous as it sounds. Sorry to the team and our sponsors for all the emails… 

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” Jim Rohn

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Quit my engineering job to backpack around South America which is when I met ROMP. Years later quit the job I had then to work full time with ROMP. I guess I’ve quit a lot of jobs – but ROMP is by far my favorite. 

Favorite food and/or dessert? Chips and salsa 

Why are you #climbing4romp?

I truly believe that the concept of mobility is universal and therefore extremely powerful. I value my own mobility a lot and I climb to give that gift to others.

Name Mike Fitzpatrick | @usembassyquito @USEmbassyEc @USEmbassy_Quito

What does mobility mean to you?  

Having the access necessary to go where you want — and do what you want.

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

My favorite sports have always been about mobility: trekking, running and cycling. I met ROMP shortly after coming to Ecuador as US Ambassador.

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

Other people have greater challenges than me, every day. So don’t complain!

What’s your biggest fear? Heights!

What’s your day job? Career U.S. Diplomat.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Sky-diving.

Why are you #climbing4romp? To demonstrate solidarity. To promote inclusion. To see (and promote) Ecuador. And as a personal challenge 15 years after climbing Kilimanjaro.

Name Julio Rigoberto Benitez Quintana

What does mobility mean to you? 

It is a privilege of the human being to perform their daily activities

What quote or idea pushes you to be your best every day?

Nothing is impossible in life

What’s your day job?

Bodyguard

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Parachute jump

Favorite band or concert

The Beatles

What is your spirit animal? Tiger

Name Danny Weiland | CorbingCEO

What does mobility mean to you?  

Mobility means having the opportunity to create positive changes that will improve the quality of my life. Not everyone has that type of opportunity, so I feel a responsibility to give back to those who do not. 

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

I got involved through the Bodywork facility that I work with (Unlock Bodyworks). Our fearless leader is constantly trying to align with organizations that focus on helping people live healthier, happier lives. 

What’s something you’ve learned through ROMP that you want the world to know?

I’ve learned through ROMP that unfortunate things happen to good people…and ROMP has made it their mission to be the shining light of healing in those people’s lives. 

What’s your day job? Massage Therapist/Movement Coach

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? B.A.S.E. Jumped for 24 straight hours

Why are you #climbing4romp? I’m climbing for ROMP because I love helping people. I’ll be one of two massage therapists on the trip ensuring that all our team members stay healthy and mobile. 

Name Daniel Easton

How did you get involved with prosthetics/amputee community/ROMP?

BESTIES! I’ve worked with ROMP before and am always excited to contribute to the team!

Why are you #climbing4romp?

I’m passionate about ROMP and climbing. I am positive reinforcement.

What does mobility mean to you?

This answer changes every year for me… I’ll say, Opportunity.

If you could go on a hike with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Jesus De La Montana

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