In honor of his childhood friend, Dr. Jeffrey Scott Caron, and to raise money for the memorial scholarship established after Jeff’s death, Piet Lammert will be defying Parkinson's Disease to climb Mt. Katahdin in late July.
Doing so, Lammert will not only honor Jeff but all frontline medical workers who saw us through the COVID 19 pandemic. The funds raised will be used to support the next generation of health care heroes.
“Back in March when I decided to climb Katahdin in defiance of Parkinson's, we had just passed the 10th anniversary of my best friend Jeff Caron's death,” said Lammert. “It didn't take long for me to connect the two in my mind: Climb as a fundraiser for his scholarship.”
The Dr. Jeffrey Scott Caron Memorial Scholarship was established at Oceanside High School 10 years ago. Jeff Caron started his career on the Thomaston Ambulance Service at age 15 and continued to provide emergent care until his unexpected death in 2011.
The scholarship supports OHS students pursuing careers in medicine and has awarded over $20,000 since its inception.
Lammert is targeting July 23 as hike day. He decided on the date last winter during the Ides of March, a particular time in own his personal history when life abruptly changed. That was when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since then, he has contended with the nature of the disease itself.
“Some days are harder than others, but, on balance, it's far better than I thought it would be,” he said. “I (and by extension anyone you know with a chronic illness) am like a duck, calm on the surface, but paddling furiously underneath, working harder than you know to maintain an even keel. But we do it, every day, because that's what daily living requires of us..”
Lammert, who grew up in Maine, knows how rugged Katahdin is.
“I climbed it many times as a kid, always with family, and always a special experience,” he said. “I want to climb it knowing that it might be my last time, so I can relish every step of the journey. I will be safe; I have my very own Baxter Park Ranger to accompany me, my cousin Andy. And I will be intentful, appreciative, and engaged as we redux our last (perhaps) trip together to Maine’s tallest peak. Maybe, as we did the last time, we will again encounter a huge bull moose in the middle of the path, savoring his own experience on a mountain in Maine. Maybe we will catch a beautiful sunset on Chimney Pond. Maybe we will soak our tired feet in Roaring Brook when we finish. Whatever we do, you can be sure that I will be fully alive in the moment, taking stock and taking notice.”
To support Piet, in his support of the Dr. Jeffrey Scott Caron Memorial Scholarship, visit these links:
Purchase a commemorative T-shirt at https://www.cooltshirtsfor.me/katahdinklimb
Adventure Advertising is printing the shirts at cost so that the price could be kept reasonable and still raise funds. The First Bank provided financial backing for the climb.
“They are the two other major sponsors without whom this wouldn't have happened,” said Lammert.
Checks can be mailed to Piet at 456 River Rd, Cushing, ME 04563