Pond’s inspiration comes from her mother, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 40, when Pond was just 10 years old. “She isn’t one to talk about herself, but she was excited and kept texting me updates on the donations.
“Parkinson’s is a disease you fight alone a lot of the time,” said Pond. “I think my mom was grateful to bring some attention to this disease she’s been fighting for 20 years.”
Climbers had to raise $10,000 in donations to be selected for the trip, which Pond received within a week. “It was very humbling,” said Pond. “It’s a vulnerable thing to ask people for donations and share a personal story, but my friends and family rose to the occasion.”
While the trip may have been daunting, Pond was no stranger to travel and service. Since the start of her seven years on staff at the College, she has acted as a chaperone on two D-Term trips to Germany, as well as BREAKAWAY service trips to Kenya (photo below), Guatemala and Philadelphia.