{Our Story} Living Vertical

by Leighann on September 26, 2012

My husband and kids tagged along when I went to Indianapolis for the 2012 Roche Social Media Summit.

My family was returning to the hotel from lunch as the summit was ending. Steve Richert was the last speaker of the day and as I took a photo with him I asked if he wouldn’t mind taking a couple of minutes to meet my daughter.

He couldn’t have been more kind. He’s a tall guy and knelt down a few times to chat with her. She asked if he has climbed Mt. Everest and he said that by the time he has the permits and funding (I think he said $65K!) maybe she’d be at a point where she would like to climb it with him.

She told him that she’s a little afraid of heights and he explained that he is too, but that’s what makes it fun. If it wasn’t a little scary, it would be boring. He used the analogy that just walking down the street isn’t very exciting. I reminded her of our recent conversation about amusement park rides and how sometimes they are “scary fun.”

She asked him about blood sugars while climbing and he explained to her that sometimes his blood sugar might go low as he hikes up to a location where a climb begins, but that the excitement and adrenalin during climbing can actually make his blood sugar go high.

She asked if he uses a CGM and he said he was just noticing her sensor. They compared their sites and he asked if she liked wearing it on her arm, which she really does. She wanted to know if he has a pump, too. He thanked her for the question because it reminded him that it might be time for his long-acting insulin. She checked her CGM to tell him what time it was. He took her to his pack and showed her how he carries his insulin pens, in a Frio pouch, and Q told him that we have one, too. I used it at Disney actually.

It’s rare that Q gets one-on-one time with other people with diabetes and the interaction between the two was so sweet. I appreciate that Steve took the time to talk with her and not only answer her questions, but also ask her for advice.

During Steve’s talk with the group, he mentioned that he would eventually like to work with families of T1 kids to not only give kids the confidence to climb, but also to give parents the confidence in their children that they are able to make decisions for themselves.

If Steve makes these workshops a reality, I’ll have to find a way to get us there!

Living VerticalLiving VerticalLiving Vertical


Project 365

The background story of Project 365 is interesting and I would tell you what I learned, but instead I am going to direct you to the Living Vertical website. Living Vertical is a non-profit set up by he and his wife Stefanie. As part of their vision, they sold all their belongings and started traversing the country so that he could climb 365 days in a row. Definitely a metaphor for dealing with diabetes every single day!

Steve announced at the summit that he has begun a partnership with Roche. For every “Like” his video gets, Roche will donate $1 to Living Vertical, up to $15,000. Visit Steve’s Mountain to read more about the partnership and watch and like his video. (I’d include it here, but please click over so that you can “like” it!)

Further Reading

More “Having Fun With Diabetes” Posts

All Roche Social Media Summit posts (includes the 2010 and 2011 summits)

{Roche Social Media Summit} Meeting My D-Family

{Roche Social Media Summit} Reuniting With My D-Family

All images are copyright D-Mom Blog and D-Mom Media and may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

Disclosure: Roche paid for my travel, lodging, and meals so that I could participate in the summit. No monetary compensation was given and they did not ask me to write about the company or their products. Opinions are always my own. If I blog, tweet, or Facebook about the summit, it’s with this disclosure in mind. While my family tagged along, Roche did not pay for their sightseeing activities while I was busy at the summit. Read my entire disclosure statement.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Carey September 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

Very cool. I too would jump at the opportunity to join such a workshop.


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