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Retired Green Beret Veteran Raising Awareness for Ataxia

Mike De Rosa, a 23-year Green Beret Special Forces Veteran, is set to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in October to raise awareness for Ataxia. Mike, a North Carolina native, entered the United States Army in June 1982, immediately after finishing High School. Eyes set on joining the Special Forces group, he served as a Green Beret for most of his 23-year tenor until retiring in June 2005. Shortly after retirement, in May of 2013, Mike was diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA).

In 2018, Mike set out to help raise awareness for Ataxia, competing in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2-mile hike through the high desert of New Mexico. Each year since, he has continued to do a marathon distance hike. Now he will take his efforts to the next level by hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to continue to raise awareness of Ataxia. 

Since being diagnosed with SCA, my focus has been to spread awareness about the disease and help raise funds for Ataxia research. My hope is that by raising awareness and collecting donations, I can help further the development of treatments and a cure while also working to improve the lives of those living with Ataxia today.

Starting in late October, Mike will join the Ultimate Kilimanjaro group on a nine-day hike on the world’s tallest free-standing mountain in Tanzania, Africa. To achieve this goal, he will undergo a vigorous training program, which includes elevation training and countless hours hiking or using a stair stepper. 

We are honored that Mike is supporting NAF’s mission with his effort to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and proud to join him in his fight to increase Ataxia awareness by sharing his story. Mike has fought for the American people through his accomplished military service; he now battles for those impacted by Ataxia. We hope you will join him in this important cause.

You can support Mike’s fundraiser for NAF while he prepares and embarks on his climb by clicking the link below. 

For questions on Mike’s climb or fundraising opportunities contact:
Jon Wegman – Development Manager

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