December Update

Tori, thanks for posting the pictures and keeping the website going. Felix, I hope you are surviving the snow in Colorado!

Thanksgiving in Seattle was fun and interesting. I saw Angie, and we spent the first day browsing Pike’s Peak Market. There were a lot of tourists, different types of food, bright flowers, and fish being thrown around the display cases. The next day we went over to her cousin’s house and had a huge turkey dinner. I also met the newest addition to the family, baby Dalin. On Friday, we went to the huge Seattle REI and I saw my friend Stephanie Rowe, who moved to the Seattle area from the Bay Area a couple years ago.?During the?whole trip, it was very cold and rainy. I don’t know how the Seattle people deal with the weather so well.

The big news in December was the 4th Annual Mt. Everest Climb-a-thon. 27 climbers got sponsors and gathered at Planet Granite Gym on Dec. 3rd. Joshua Levin, 12, was the guest of honor. (Joshua was on my climbing team and took private lessons from me for five years.) Josh did a speed climbing demo and climbed a 50′ 5.7+ route in 11.72 seconds. Everyone else climbed their hearts out, too, and collectively climbed well over the height of Mt. Everest. In fact, they almost climbed it twice, achieving a collective total of 52,741 feet. Lei-Lei Shi was the top fund-raiser, and also climbed over a vertical mile in three hours! I am so grateful to the many friends who volunteered, climbed, and sponsored the project this year!

This week I had my annual check-up for my transplant. I am finished with all the tests now. On Monday, I had a physical and a bone density scan. Tuesday, I had a bronchoscopy. Today, Friday, I did an x-ray, a draw, a Pulmonary Function Test and a six-minute walk. I did a little better (than last year) on the six-minute walk–1950 feet. It was a brisk pace, but my oxygen saturation level did not go down below 97%.?The PFT was about the same. I haven’t gotten the results back from the rest of the tests yet.

It has been a good building year. I am happy that I had a chance to compete and earn the badminton gold in the 2006 Transplant Games,?as well as?spend time with the family there. Climbing has been going well; I took a few?small, local road trips this year and have been top-roping some 5.11’s lately in the gym, something I didn’t know if I would ever do after the transplant. I am also glad I have been healthy enough to coach soccer this fall, and I am looking forward to the holidays. I have kept old friends and made many new ones this year, and my family is closer than ever.

Many warm holiday wishes to all of you who have supported me throughout the year and shared the joys of my new life!

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