Norm Schoeler is on a mission to finish what he and his wife Anne started.
This weekend, he’s going to hike three mountains — about 20 miles — in only 12 hours.
It all started years ago. The couple, who had met while hiking, set out to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s White Mountains until a difficult diagnosis changed everything.
Anne was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 58.
“You don’t want to admit that something’s wrong,” said Schoeler.
They made it to 33 of the 48 mountains before Anne fell during her last hike. “The doctor said, ‘that’s it, no more mountains for her,'” Schoeller recalled.
Still, Norm trekked on. Now, he has three mountains left to summit.
“It’s time to finish the project,” Schoeler said. Mountains number 46, 47 and 48 will be the group of mountains known as The Bonds.
Norm is doing it for Anne, but he’s also spreading a message.
Related: June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
“When she was diagnosed, I knew this was going to be a scary experience, so you start asking questions,” Schoeler said, “Where do you start?”
He wants people to look for support groups, ask questions, and share what you learn along the way.
“Everything that we’ve learned together has helped her,” said Schoeler. “We did anything we could to be involved with this whole world, to learn something new about the disease.”