Lisa Greenslade Merrick is no stranger to an uphill battle.
Having lived in Squamish for two years, she's taken advantage of the natural landscape by hiking, mountain biking and climbing her way along the Sea to Sky. Now, the access has given her an edge as she trains for her next goal: the annual Climb the Wall for the BC Lung Association on Feb. 24.
Almost four years ago, Merrick's father Greg Greenslade had a double lung transplant, years after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.
"I didn’t think it would actually happen, because my dad had the disease for over eight years," Merrick said. "Finally he got the call. It was all the emotions — happy, scared, sad — everything. Watching the recovery was probably the most intense because you don’t know if the lungs are going to reject or accept. Watching him get frustrated, but him being so positive through the whole thing has definitely helped."
Since then, Greg has been going to an exercise program for people with pulmonary fibrosis four times a week, even though he's no longer required to. He goes to support others and encourage them not to give up.
It was her father's idea to do the Climb the Wall this year, and the whole family — Lisa, her sister Ashleigh, mother Christine, and their partners — decided to join him. On Feb. 24, they'll join more than 300 other climbers in the staircase of the 48-storey tall Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.
"He calls me every week, talking about his training and how much money he’s raised. I’ve never seen him be so passionate about something like this," Merrick said.
"I’m sure it’s going to be a bit of a climb. Some of us are a little more active — and younger — than my dad, but we’re basically here for support and to cheer him on."
It's important to the Greenslade family, Merrick said, to give back to the BC Lung Association, the nurses and doctors who took care of Greg, and all the families who will also need their help.
So far, the family of six has raised nearly $1,000.
Although the finish line is weeks away, Merrick said, "I’m hoping it feels like victory. I know halfway through, you’re like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But you get to the top, and you’ll be like ‘This was so worth it.’”