Michelle Post of the Press of Atlantic City picked up my earlier blog post about my brother, Adam Kroelinger, 78, of Vineland, NJ, and wrote an article about him which can be found here: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/cumberland/vinelander-and-blind-an-adventurer/article_185bc54e-c87c-11e1-9b72-001a4bcf887a.html
Last week while cleaning out a closet, Adam found a box of pictures and asked me to go through them with him. In the box we found pictures from his ski trip to Alaska in 2003. Here’s how it all started.
On occasion, my siblings (nine of us) and our spouses gather from various parts of the country (New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, California, Oregon) for a family reunion cruise. On our cruise in 2002, Adam walked the promenade deck early every morning for about an hour. On the first few days of the cruise, another family member walked with him, but soon he became oriented to the ship and felt confident enough to walk by himself. He always used his cane, so people were aware of his vision problem and were always willing to assist him if he needed it.
One fellow passenger struck up a conversation with Adam and told him about Ski for Light, an organization that sponsors cross-country ski events and camping/hiking trips for (VIPs) visually impaired and (MIPs) mobility impaired persons. That was all Adam needed to hear. “I can do that!”
When Adam finished fighting with the pirates on board ship (he outsmarted them), he started planning his first ski trip.
Six months later, Adam flew by himself from Philadelphia to Anchorage, Alaska, (thanks to the airlines for their excellent assistance!) and met members of the Ski for Light organization at the Alyeska Ski Resort. They paired him up with a sighted cross-country ski guide, and off he went.
Ski for Light also arranges ski trips for MIPS (Mobility Impaired Persons) using specially-designed ski-chairs.
A poster hanging on the wall of the ski resort said it all: “If I can do this, I can do anything.”
“Yep,” says Adam, “that’s exactly right.”
Since that trip, Adam did a second ski trip in Wisconsin and later a hiking trip in Colorado. And tonight as we talked about the trip he said, “That hiking trip was really fun. I think I’ll do that again.”
Now that’s positive thinking. How many 78-year-old men do you know that want to tackle the hiking trail?
I think the Atlantic City Press is going to hear more about this intrepid adventurer.
Look for more Ski for Light stories on their Facebook page.