Mom Climbs Highest Mountain in Africa in Memory of Her Extraordinary Daughter

Update: Jo has made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro! The climb was by far the hardest thing she’s ever had to face other than losing her daughter, Amy, to vasculitis. “They call it ‘The Roof of Africa’ but I call it almost to heaven! It’s the closest I’ll be to Amy until I get there,” Jo said. “I left our picture at the top, tucked under the signpost. One day she and I will look down at that picture together, she’ll roll her beautiful eyes and say, ‘Oh Mother!’ and we’ll just laugh! Each day on the mountain posed a new challenge, physically and mentally, just as each day does without Amy,” Jo added. “The journey was something I’ll never forget. It was personal, but I was lifted up and encouraged each moment by my faith, by Amy’s courage, by my climbing partners, and by the wonderful guides who got us to the top! I am so deeply grateful for all the support from our friends and family in raising money for the VF in memory of Amy. I exceeded my goal of $19,341.00!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Jo raised a total of $21,878.00.

Jo Murphy is doing something extraordinary. She is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in memory of her extraordinary daughter, Amy! She is undertaking this daunting challenge both to feel closer to Amy but also to raise funds for the Vasculitis Foundation.

When Amy was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, Wegener’s) as a teenager in the 1990s, the family turned to the Vasculitis Foundation. Information on vasculitis was limited, especially at the time, and the Vasculitis Foundation provided the family with education, advice and connected them to doctors and other resources. Sadly, while living a full and happy life with her friends and family, Amy lost her battle with vasculitis in February.

Amy had an unparalleled zest for life and in her honor, it seemed fitting that Jo decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. This will be no easy feat, just as Amy’s journey with vasculitis was no easy feat. Mt. Kilimanjaro stands 19,341 feet tall and Jo’s goal is to raise $1 per foot for a total of $19,341 for the Vasculitis Foundation. Jo hopes you will join her on the adventure and donate in Amy’s memory today. Your support will empower the Vasculitis Foundation to continue advocating for early diagnosis, better treatments and improving quality of life for patients with vasculitis.

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