A life-long outdoorsman and adventure seeker, Martin’s life changed forever at the age of 31. In the summer of 2001—17 years ago—Martin’s symptoms first appeared, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. Our first thought was a lingering head injury from a snowboarding accident. A year’s worth of doctor visits and tests would prove otherwise. Martin was diagnosed with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was given 2-3 years to live his life. We had been married less than one year and at the time knew nothing about ALS. We were overwhelmed and uneducated about what lay ahead.
Martin continues to be an adventure/thrill seeker. The feeling of being fully alive while in the outdoors helps to sustain Martin’s existence. Several years ago Martin had a dream of returning to the summit of Mount Washington. Unbelievably a small, but mighty group of ASPNC volunteers made this happen in the wee hours of an August morning 9 years ago. That remarkable experience turned into the now major fundraising event for ASPNC. Numerous adaptive athletes and supporters have followed on Martin’s path to achieve great success and inspiration.
With the help of ASPNC, Martin continues to adaptive hike and ski. He has been able to share his love of the outdoors with our son by skiing and hiking alongside him. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment when we reach a summit or trail end is unexplainable.
My husband Martin is one of the most courageous and brave people I could ever hope to know. He makes those of us around him want to be better people and he inspires us to live fully in the moment. Martin continues to live his life by example with true courage, passion and an undying sense of adventure. Thank you for your support.
Martin Wallem, Jr.
John Tracy Sr