If there’s anything I want you to get from this post, it’s a Thank you from the absolute whole of my heart, to the community that supported the climb and the adventure that we set out on to raise money for the Lone Survivor Foundation. We had a goal of $2,400 dollars – as I was turning 24 – but with all your support we raised over $3,000. We did it, and I couldn’t have done it alone…
On the morning of my 24th birthday, September 27 2012; my Mom Cindy Schwarz, my Uncle Robert Cross and I set out to conquer the climb in Yosemite’s National Park, Half Dome, my favorite place in the world. I had done the climb before, 10 years prior, but this time it wasn’t about me, it was about the individuals that make my freedom to do so possible and the families that support them.
I had first heard about the Lone Survivor Foundation a couple years ago, after reading the book Lone Survivor written by former Navy Seal (once stationed right here in Coronado) Marcus Luttrell. I was inspired by Luttrell’s epic story of survival, just barely, after his entire team was killed by the enemy. It hurt my heart as I read between the pages of battle and chaos and I thought, “What could I possibly do to help?”. Though I knew of no tangible way other than prayer I'd sent up to God, I found out about Luttrell’s foundation that supports military members and their families as they come home from the battlefront as they learn to live a life as normal as possible, as if from scratch. Luttrell doesn’t offer psychiatrists or pills to solve PTSD, instead he offers a ranch, a long term location where quality healing can occur. I love that, and wanted to support it. So… we did the climb.
It was a beautiful trek up the massive rocks and through the many landscapes to the top of Half Dome, which sits at 8,840 feet above sea level. The view was life changing, to put it at best. It’s true, which is why it’s my favorite place on earth. It enduces a feeling of momentum, because when you get to the top you think..how on earth did I get up here? How was this possible? But you did. And that’s when you begin to think.. well, if I can do this, what else can I do?
The $3,000 raised went straight into the Lone Survivor Foundation’s pocket and will help to provide counseling, support, and inspiration through long and short term in-house care and advocacy programs.
If we can do this, what else can we do?
Thank you to all those that supported the event and to the community that I am so proud to call home. Thank you for the notes of encouragement, the donations, and the hugs. We will always remember that day with a smile,
To watch a 2 min. video of our hike - check it out here:
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