This September, Brenda McHugh is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She is dedicating her efforts to supporting a very important cause in her life–Special Children’s Charities. In 1969, Brenda’s late husband Jack McHugh founded Special Children’s Charities, the fundraising arm of Special Olympics Chicago. 50 years later, Jack’s idea is still growing and creating positive change in Chicago. Brenda is committed to seeing it thrive for another fifty years.

19 years ago, Brenda found herself unable to accompany her father and nephew as they successfully summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. She vowed to make the trip someday, but nearly two decades of obstacles intervened, making Kilimanjaro seem like a goal she might never reach.

In June, after recovering from surgery, Brenda began training and in September, she and her niece Sarah will start her climb. Her plan is to reach the summit on September 15, her father’s 83rd birthday.

Brenda and Sarah’s efforts will raise funds to support Chicagoans with intellectual disabilities. She is hoping to commemorate the work Jack started 50 years ago, and make sure that it continues for the next 50 years.

Brenda is climbing to honor both Jack and her father, as well as the entire first generation of supporters who committed themselves to making this charity a success, and every athlete their good work has impacted.

Please follow Brenda’s journey here and on social media and donate to support her efforts today!