In this episode of WhitewaterTV, we are examining how to be a great ally to people with differing abilities in outdoor recreation.
“Melissa Simpson’s differing abilities — what some might call disabilities require the use of a wheelchair to get around. But that did not stop Simpson from summiting more than 13,000 feet.” —Culturs Global Multicultural Magazine Contributing Writer Antoinette Lee Toscano
Check out this inspiring interview and an edit of “From My Window,” starring Melissa Simpson—currently a “Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere.” And the movie is in consideration for a “Vimeo Film of the Year Award.” Take a moment after watching this interview to vote for Melissa and “From My Window.”
“From My Window is also a “Mountainfilm 2021 Official Selection” and a “Cannes Indie Shorts Awards Official Selection.”
Simpson says her life is a struggle. She was born weighing one pound and fifteen ounces. Her low birth weight and other factors caused Simpson to develop cerebral palsy with severe muscle tightness in her entire body — especially in her legs. Yet, Simpson aspired to be a mountaineer.
“From my window, I can see the tallest peaks in Colorado. This is the view I had my whole life. And I’ve always wanted to tackle these mountains. All I want to do is be outside experiencing these things.” —Melissa Simpson
Simpson’s successful adventure summiting the Columbine peak was inspired and supported by Erik Weihenmayer— the first blind person to summit Mount Everest.
Weihenmayer, Simpson, and seven other volunteer members of her mountaineering “rope team” set out to summit the Columbine peak at 13,148 feet above sea level.
You will have to watch the film — “From My Window,” starring Melissa Simpson, Erik Weihenmayer, Skyler Williams, Jeff Evans, and Simpson’s mother — Kim Simpson to learn if Simpson and her team reached the summit.
“Ten years ago, I felt excluded pushed to the sidelines; nobody wanted to include me in hardly anything. And now, I don’t feel lost anymore.” —Melissa Simpson
Simpson’s words are what it means to a person with differing abilities when you make the time to ensure that outdoor recreation and adventure sports are inclusive.
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Executive Producer + Host: Antoinette Lee Toscano, MBA
Antoinette Lee Toscano on Instagram
📸 Photography: Matthew James Berrafato
📸 Photography: Dejan Smaic
🎥 Creative Director | Lead Videographer/Sound/Video Editing: StephenElias