Group to share Katahdin story

9 years ago

Group to share Katahdin story

   PRESQUE ISLE, Maine A group of local adventurers will share their trip of a lifetime — an expedition to get a person with paraplegia to the summit of Mt. Katahdin — when they deliver their free public presentation “Beyond Limits” Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Campus Center.


    This event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Through video, pictures and first-hand accounts, the group will bring to life its July Katahdin expedition, which involved a group of 16 diverse people building a team and doing what many said couldn’t be done. The group will share its message that challenge is an opportunity, that nothing is impossible and that it’s all about the journey.
“We undertook the expedition to bring hope to people who have challenges of any kind,” Dr. Jacqui Lowman, UMPI associate professor of professional communication and journalism and expedition team member, said. “We picked a very concrete mountain to tackle. But everyone has mountains, be they internal or external. We wanted to show that with creativity, problem-solving, perseverance, passion—and a little help from friends—anything is possible.”
Lowman was born with spina bifida and may be the very first paraplegic to reach the summit of Mt. Katahdin. On July 14, she and a team that included University faculty, staff, students and community members departed on the multi-day expedition. Their goal wasn’t just to reach the top, but also to show that there’s no such thing as “can’t.” That they did in less than 72 hours, with members of the group taking turns carrying Lowman using a modified “PiggyBackPack” carrier all the way up Maine’s largest mountain.
The trip was part of the larger effort Lowman and others have undertaken through the nonprofit organization Beyond Limits, which works to bring adaptive recreation opportunities to Aroostook County and beyond. Last year, the organization began partnering with the Nordic Heritage Sport Club so that local residents with physical disabilities could experience winter recreation at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.
The group plans to create even more opportunities in the coming years and hopes the Katahdin expedition proves that those with any type of challenge can — and should — try new things, and that they shouldn’t let the word “can’t” be a barrier for them.
“This was about ability, not disability,” Lowman said. “All members of the team were essential and played vital roles. They all stretched, grew and did amazing things. This truly went beyond what they thought were their limits.”
All are welcome to attend this free presentation. For more information, call 768-9452 or email umpi@maine.edu.