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Book Review: If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?

Monday September 21, 2015

Nan Little's new book, If I Can Climb MT. Kilimanjaro, why can’t I brush my teeth? Courage, Tenacity & Love Meet Parkinson’s Disease, proves that an indomitable spirit can accomplish the unthinkable and even conquer the impossible. Nan is in her late sixties remains an avid cyclist,  is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an Anthropologist PHD, an active outdoors person and fly fisher person, a lecturer, and now, a published author on living with Parkinson’s  disease.

Nan Little Book CoverThe book reveals Nan's incredible tenacity, strength, and dedication to accomplishing whatever her mind is set on. An underlying and touching part of her story is the remarkable relationship and marriage that she and her husband, Doug, share together.

Nan’s book is a candid look inside of a life of working through Parkinson’s disease and all the other unforeseen obstacles that come with life’s challenges. From the death of loved ones to sleep studies to daily living, If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro… offers an honest and inspiring glimpse into how a strong smart woman chooses to empower herself and those who she meets:

“When people look at me, a little white-haired lady, spinning on her bicycle as she talks about Parkinson’s, climbing mountains and riding her bike across Iowa, many are inspired to get up out of their chairs and walk around the block. My goal is to help others define and achieve their goals. That is the hope and inspiration I try to share with others from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.”

Karl And NanParkinson’s disease, like any serious illness, isn’t an easy topic to discuss. Nan Little recounts her troubles and triumphs from her numerous grueling treks across the state of Iowa, a not so leisurely climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the challenge of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

This book exudes Mrs. Little’s love of life, love of cultures, and her love for her husband, Doug. Having had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Doug and Nan, I can report that they are a couple to aspire to.

I think what most amazed and inspired me at the same time was and is Nan’s fearlessness for a challenge, all on top of Parkinson’s disease. Rather than retreating and keeping quiet, Nan has taken on becoming a voice and proponent for Pedaling for Parkinson’s, is an advocate for the Parkinson’s Action Network, serves on the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC), and is a member of the board of the Parkinson Creative Collective.

If I Can Climb MT. Kilimanjaro, why can’t I brush my teeth? is an easy and enjoyable read highlighting some remarkable achievements which include an amazing woman’s ability to accept, embrace, and thrive. Be sure to learn more about Nan’s book and blog at www.NanLittle.com.

Karl Robb
NWPF Guest Blogger

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