Climbing Mountains with Paige Figi
You might already have heard of Paige Figi -- or at least her daughter Charlotte of the eponymous "Charlotte's Web," a type of therapeutic hemp oil with low THC and high CBD (CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a known anticonvulsant, reducing epileptic symptoms without the psychotropic effect). Raising a daughter with Dravet syndrome, a serious form of epilepsy, Paige -- a mother of three in Colorado -- was desperate to find a treatment that would help her then 5-year old live a better life. Through that journey of finding a successful therapy for her daughter's seizures, Paige convened a chorus of voices of more than 15,000 families. She and her daughter have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on a CNN special hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and most recently on Dateline NBC.
Paige is also the Executive Director of Coalition for Access Now, a non-profit organization led by families committed to educating the public and lawmakers on the health benefits associated with natural therapies derived from cannabis for chronic health conditions.
On the podcast, we talk to Paige not only about what's made her a famous caregiver but what's happened after all the publicity, all the advocacy and entrepreneurship. An avowed adventurer -- mountain climbing and dirt biking are her passions -- Paige discussed candidly her intent to get back to her dreams. In fact, we recorded the podcast while Paige was training and preparing for a climb of Denali, the highest peak in North America. In an article about her preparation for the climb that appeared in Colorado's Gazette, Paige said, "I see it as (the kids) are older, so I'm raising them for watching. They're watching me. And I don't want them to be blamed for my, you know, unhappiness. That's not fair. I have to go be a whole person, and unfortunately my passion lies in traveling and doing this crazy stuff."
Paige successfully climbed Denali with two friends since the podcast (!) and got back safely. She is currently writing a book, designing and selling special needs backpacks for larger children, running a women's climbing organization and home-schooling her three children.
Honestly, she's for real, and you can listen to more about her life as a caregiver and woman on the podcast. In the meantime, here's proof of her ascent to the top of the highest peak in North America.
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Special Needs Backpack for Larger Children (in progress)
I don't have a particular favorite, but I'm inspired by people going through a harder thing -- who was it that said, "Nothing good comes unless there's a little bit of suffering."
Other parents of special needs kids -- especially those whose children have passed away