A photography aficionado for much of his life, Chris Palmer is marrying his passion for shooting a Nikon with his love of backpacking and hiking come October when he plans to scale to the base camp of Everest.
Palmer, of Edmond, who has been experimenting with night photography, astrophotography and time-lapse photography, noticed there are very few night shots of the mountain and became intrigued with the idea of shooting a moonlit west face of Everest.
His trip took on new meaning when he decided to make this hike about helping a little girl with cystic fibrosis and the local chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Palmer, who is a commercial real estate broker, sits on the Sooner chapter's board.
Close family friends, Edmond residents Ryan and Alyssa Siler, have a daughter, Hayden, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) seven years ago.
“It dawned on me one day as I was researching and making plans for this trip that there is a connection between kids with CF and high-altitude climbers,” Palmer, 57, said. “It takes a climber eight to nine days to scale roughly 38 miles from Lukla, Nepal, to the base camp of Everest at an altitude of 9,350 feet.
“They have various lodges along the way where people stay because their lungs have to acclimate to the altitude at each level. Basically, you physically can't catch your breath and that is what 37,000 people diagnosed with CF fight in America everyday. ... They can't breathe,” said Palmer.
Drugs awaiting FDA approval
Hayden, 7, takes four enzyme pills with every meal just to help her food digest so she can get the nutrients she needs, Palmer said, adding that in her particular case, two drugs that could save her life are awaiting FDA approval. Currently, life expectancy for people living with CF is 37 years.