Meet the Athletes

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Meet Jesse!

Jesse has been active outdoors for many years as a Nordic skier, snowshoer, trail runner, and single scull rower.  Hiking has been a focus for almost 50 years!  Working time was spent teaching and as a neuro rehabilitation trainer.

 

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Meet Emma & Dan!

Emma and Dan Perritano are from Erie, PA. They have been long distance walking and competing together for almost ten years. Since 2014, their journeys have taken them all over the country, including walks across the entire states of Colorado, Vermont, and Pennsylvania in Emma’s customized running chair. Emma had a cerebral hemorrhage shortly after birth. She has cerebral palsy, experiences seizures, is non-verbal, and has other developmental delays. All that aside, Emma is happy, communicative, and joyous. Together, Emma and Dan have laughed, suffered, cried, competed, and walked thousands of miles. Their story is compelling and has helped various nonprofit organizations raise thousands of dollars along the way.

 

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Meet Sami

Sami is so excited that this will be her third year participating in the Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington.  In preparation for Sunrise, Sami enjoys hiking in The Whites.  She has hiked eight of NH's 48 4,000 foot mountains so far!

 

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Meet Jacques

The 2024 Sunrise Ascent will be Jacques' third consecutive year as an athlete. Now 15 years old, he says he wants to be a nature guide like his mom. He actually started guiding when he was 4 years old, cheering on paddlers during a canoe trip, and another time waving his arm to a hiking group from France as he sat upon his mother's shoulders, saying with a smile, "Come on, ladies!" He enjoys socializing, making connections between resources and people, and helping people the best he can. He is an encourager of all things good and brings joy to his teammates on the long haul up Mount Washington each year.

 

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Meet Erik

I moved to the Mt. Washington Valley to teach adaptive skiing at Attitash in 2005 and never left. Now I’m a paraprofessional in special ed at Kennett High School in Conway. I’ve been handcycling for about as long as I’ve lived in The Valley.  With some advances in bike tech, I thought it might be possible to climb the Auto Road on a road handcycle. It’s been done on off-road handcycles and with e assist, but my goal last summer was to do it on my own faster than other unassisted handcyclists. I underestimated how tough that road is though. By a lot. I made it about four miles up on my own before relying some on my hikers, Holderness Academy students I know from skiing.

This year I should have some lower gearing, some experience, and a year of training on Zwift. There’s no road like the Auto Road on the East Coast but the online cycling platform has some virtual rides that get close. I’m not 100% I can go all the way under my own power, but I expect to get closer to the top this year.  

 

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Meet Blair

Hi! I’m Blair and I am excited to make my fourth Sunrise Ascent this year.  I’ve lived with a TBI since I was three years old. That was a long time ago, in a time when there wasn’t much expectation that I would survive, never mind thrive.

That’s why I am passionate about ASPNC’s mission to inspire people like me. Thanks to its programming, I do activities year-round, from golf and gardening to hiking and cross-country skiing, with a little boccia thrown in the mix.  I’ve been involved with ASPNC for over 14 years, and I feel like I’ve found my people. I enjoy the camaraderie, companionship, especially the laughs, and most importantly, the opportunities to be outside, to be challenged, and to be comfortable.

A year ago, I lost my mom, who was my biggest cheerleader, and I am again dedicating my Sunrise Ascent in her memory because, simply, she never gave up on me and because of her, I can do so many things.

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Meet Malachy

My name is Malachy Duffy.  I am a musician, teacher, and adventurer.  I overcame spinal cancer in 2018, although it left me with nerve damage in my spine from radiation treatments.  When I heard about the Sunrise Ascent last year, I was hooked.  A chance to hike Mt. Washington again after all these years and raise money for adaptive sports?  Sign me up.  In my free time, I enjoy playing with my band, Captain Sunbeam, out of Boston.

 

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Meet Jason

Jason Jones is a father, Veteran, adaptive athlete, and fighter.  He is a Navy Veteran, originally from Texas, but he fell in love with Vermont after attending Norwich University.  Jason was diagnosed with ALS in December 2015 and has been fighting the good fight ever since.  He has four kids, three daughters and a son, and is a single dad.  His goal is to fight, support ALS research, and continue to live each day, full of life.  Adaptive sports have given him the opportunity to continue to do all the activities he loves with his friends and family.  He bikes, hikes, hunts, fishes. paddles, skis, and enjoys all the equipment available to him to make this possible.  His goal is to live to see his youngest son graduate high school.