Spokane couple creates opportunities for Parkinson’s patients to get into hiking

SPOKANE, Wash. – Bill and Nadean Meyer love hiking. When Bill’s Parkinson’s made it difficult for him to hike alone, the Meyers created Pass to Pass, an organization which matches hikers with Parkinson’s to fellow outdoor enthusiasts. 

Bill, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, is a lifelong mountaineer. After his diagnosis, he tested several ways of continuing his passion, including using horses to carry some of his gear. He scaled Aasgard Pass, a 4,400 foot elevation gain hike, in 2015. 

After that experience, Bill and Nadean created a network of hikers with and without Parkinson’s to take annual trips. 

Today, Pass to Pass facilitates connections between hikers several times a year, empowering those with Parkinson’s to enjoy the mountains. 

The nonprofit’s board of directors represents many people with Parkinson’s across several states, and has expanded into providing hiking opportunities multiple times a year. 

“The umbrella, PasstoPass.org, allows us to put some chapter hikes in these different places up in New England, New York, Colorado [and] several in California,” Nadean said. 

While family members are given first preference, anyone can apply to be a support hiker. 

“Our support hikers are terrific. It wouldn’t be successful without them,” Bill said. 

In addition to human support hikers, the organization operates three teams of llamas that join on some adventures. 

Those interested in donating can do so on the Pass to Pass website. 

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