Woman plans to hike to Everest for Hope for Gus

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Maxine Dunn’s college field hockey team used their goals over the course of last year’s season to raise funds for Hope for Gus.  —Courtesy photo

  • Maxine Dunn, 22, of Peterborough, practices hiking with a pack on a trail outside of her house. —Courtesy photo

  • Maxine Dunn, 22, of Peterborough, trains on Mount Monadnock for an upcoming climb to Everest Base Camp with the Hope for Gus foundation.  —Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, September 04, 2017

Everest is the be all and end all for many serious climbers — and even the healthy rarely attempt it. 

For someone with muscular dystrophy, it’s an impossibility.

Tonya Dreher of Peterborough envisioned her life with her three children filled with outdoor adventures like mountain climbing, but the diagnosis of her youngest son, Gus Dreher, with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has meant that many of those dreams have had to shift. Duchenne is currently uncurable. It slowly deteriorates motor function, and life expectancy for those with Duchenne is only the mid-20s, as the disease breaks down the muscles in the heart.

 Two years ago, the Drehers, along with a group of family and friends and other people with loved ones with Duchenne, made the hike to the Mount Everest base camp, as a fundraiser for Hope for Gus, the Drehers’ nonprofit organization that raises funds for Duchenne research. In 2016, Hope for Gus did a 10-day trek to Mount Whitney in California, the tallest peak in the lower 48. This year, they will be returning to Everest once again. 

Each climber must pay for their own expenses, and is committed to raising a minimum of $1,000 in sponsorships and donations to gift to Hope for Gus.

Maxine Dunn, 22, of Peterborough, met Gus when she taught him swimming lessons last summer. She made the commitment to participate in Everest climb this spring.

Dunn’s an active person (she does triathlons) and a compassionate one (she just completed her nursing degree) and she knew she wanted to help Hope for Gus.

This, she said, will be a new personal challenge for her, in addition to an opportunity to raise money for a cause that she cares about.

“I’m very excited for two reasons,” she said. “One, to be part of a group where people are challenging themselves individually, in their own ways, on this crazy adventure. But we’re also part of a group that’s working towards the same goal.”

It’s not the first time she’s been involved in fundraising for the organization, she said. Her college field hockey team had a sponsor willing to donate a set amount for each goal Dunn’s team scored over the season, resulting in a total donation of just over $5,000. 

To sponsor Dunn, visit www.gofundme.com/etedmaxine or contact her at maxinedunn@hotmail.com. For more information about Hope for Gus or the Everest to End Dechene’s campaign, visit www.everesttoendduchenne.org or hopeforgus.org.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.