CALGARY — Jeanine Dalton is looking to climb three mountain peaks in one day. It’s a challenging task at over 22 kilometres with an elevation of 2920 metres, but in Dalton’s view, that’s nothing compared to what her friends the Lamprecht family face every day at their home west of Edmonton in Evansburg.
Katie and Jacob Lamprecht have four children. Their youngest three have been diagnosed with a genetic abnormality called Juvenile Batten’s Disease.
“Well it always starts with vision loss and that’s how people get diagnosed,” said Katie. “Starts between four and seven years old and then progresses to seizures, dementia, and loss of mobility.”
It’s a terminal disease that attacks the central nervous system and there is no cure. The life expectancy of someone with it is between 16 to 22 years old.
Kiara is ten, her sister Hannah is eight and AJ is five. The girls were diagnosed last November and the family just found out about AJ in June.
Jeanine Dalton used to babysit the kids when she lived in Evansburg. She’s now living in Calgary and working as a licensed practical nurse but still has close ties to the Lamprechts.
“Got really close with the family,” said Dalton. “They really welcomed me and took me in as their own and we just maintained that relationship over the years so I consider them like family.”
She decided to take action when AJ was diagnosed with the extremely rare terminal disease.
“I’ve always wanted to do the triple crown and I always wanted to fundraise for a good cause,” said Dalton. “It’s almost like a lightbulb went off when AJ got that diagnosis, I was like of course I’m going to fundraise for this family.”
Her plan is to summit three mountains near Canmore: Lady MacDonald, the east end of Rundle, and Ha Ling with the help of a handful of hiking friends.
“I tried to do three mountains in one day two weeks ago just to test the waters and see how it felt,” said Dalton. “So I think doing little challenges like that leading up to it will be really helpful.”
Her goal is to raise $10,000 and raise awareness about Juvenile Batten’s Disease. The money will go to help the family with medical costs and possible treatments.
The Lamprechts spend a lot of time researching treatments that might help their children. They found an experimental stem cell replacement treatment at Duke University in North Carolina.
“There was a lady in the states that did this with their daughter five years ago and she’s shown no progression in five years,” said Jacob. “But the problem is with that treatment is its $1.7 million dollars per child that you have to put down before they do anything.”
Dalton will start her climb early in the morning of August 7.
Learn more about the family and how to donate here:
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