Despite the testing and the pessimistic prognosis, Schneider secretly continued to train for her next climb—Mount Aconcagua. This Argentinian peak reaches an elevation of 22,837 feet and is one of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks in each of the seven continents).
“I didn’t tell anybody because I was afraid that now I was given that label of MS, people would say I couldn’t do it,” says Schneider.
A year after she first woke up numb and called her doctor, she reached the peak of Mount Aconcagua. “When I got to the top of that mountain, I told myself, ‘Girl, if you’re strong enough to climb a mountain, you’re strong enough to face this disease head on without shame and without embarrassment, and it’s time to start living your life again,’” says Schneider.
In the decade that followed, Schneider would set her sights on another large peak to conquer, aiming to complete each of the Seven Summits. On May 23, 2009—within 10 years of her diagnosis—Schneider was standing on top of Mount Everest, and was the first person with MS to complete the Seven Summits.
This is an awesome and inspiring story. I remember in 2009 reading about Lori, reaching her goal of getting to the summit of Mount Everest. That was the first year we had World MS Day and to commemorate it Lori took a World MS Day Banner to the highest point of the world and displayed it.