My name is Jenica Miller and I am raising awareness for survivors of Traumatic Brain Injuries. The Pikes Peak Challenge is a unique fundraising event held annually in September that encourages registered participants to experience the excitement and success of hiking to the summit of Pikes Peak. Survivors of brain injury, family members and community supporters start their ascent up this magnificent 14,110-foot mountain at the base of Barr Trail in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Hikers crest the summit after 13 miles and 7,400 vertical feet to the cheers of spectators and supporters.
For two years I have volunteered at the summit in support of this event. This year I am training for the 2014 Summit Hike which will take place on Saturday, September 6th, 2014. The Pikes Peak Challenge is really the only fundraiser for the brain injured that I’m aware of. This coming October is my 6th Anniversary as a survivor of a TBI from ejection of a motor vehicle. I have recovered from my almost fatal injuries and am now in the process of rebuilding my life. I graduated after a successful experience at Pikes Peak Community College and now am a senior at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado majoring in Therapeutic Recreation. The Challenge and Pikes Peak itself symbolize the mountains that TBI Survivors have to overcome in their quest of healing and getting their lives back.
The Challenge is not something you wake up on the day of the event and say, “I’m going to climb a 14,110 ft tall mountain today.” There are three choices for hikers this year: The Manitou Walk, Barr Camp Hike, and the Summit Hike. I am training for the full 13 miles up to the summit of Pike Peak. In the months prior to the event, I will continue to train on many routes in Southern Colorado with my friends. We have been advised to bring things like rain gear, extra clothes, food and water. This training will help me prepare for my ascent in September. There’s sense of pride with this event that is a real boost after everything a TBI Survivor has to overcome. TBI is not like a broken bone that heals in 6 weeks, it’s a life altering journey. With this year as my 6th Anniversary of surviving a horrible car accident, I’m looking back at the successes and failures that have been directly influenced from my TBI. Ultimately it has made me stronger. This year I plan to complete the Challenge to show other survivors that anything is possible. It just takes some extra work to beat the odds and climb the boulders that lie in your path to the top.
Thank You for your donations,