Achieving a Dream and Conquering a Mountain

Oct 05
Maryanne Hawkins, Director
Dungarvin Nevada
Image: Mountain Peak Dream Achieved Heading

Max and Amy’s dream was to be able to climb the Grand Teton with Andrew.

In July 2015, Max Hammer contacted Dungarvin about being a Host Home provider for Andrew “Bob” Harris, an individual with Down Syndrome. Andrew had grown up on a ranch in Incline Village in Tahoe, Nevada. Coming from a family of very physically active people, Andrew’s health had been in a decline after years of inactivity in various group homes, where his diet was poor. Andrew had moved to Reno in 2013 and at this time was moved into an Intensive Supported Living arrangement. He had a serious illness that removed his ability to eat whole foods and had a feeding tube. His sister Amy, who was studying to be a nurse, made it her mission to help Andrew be able to eat whole foods again.

Amy and Max, who are engaged, decided that the supported living supports did not foster Andrew’s physical abilities, despite their encouragement for Andrew to be active by taking him running, sledding, skiing and riding horses. When Andrew could run a distance of 16 miles, none of his support staff could keep up with him, so Max went through the lengthy process of becoming a Host Home Provider so that Andrew could move in with them. Once Andrew moved in, they assisted him with the right nutrition to be able to be healthy with the type of physical activity that Andrew enjoyed. Pursuing a dream to climb the Grand Teton with Andrew the three of them began a workout regiment to help prepare for the climb.

In the fall of 2016, they ramped up their training, practicing short-roping and rappelling, climbing in gyms, and hiking in Reno. On August 18, 2017 at 5:15 pm MST Andrew achieved this dream, becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to reach the summit of Grand Teton, an elevation 13,766 feet.

Image: Mountain Peak Dream Achieved

Photo Credit: Julie Ellison

In one of the articles written, below, Amy stated, “I hope this inspires people in general to see possibility instead of limitation and approach their goals with humility and humor.” We are certainly inspired! Way to go Andrew for achieving a mountain of a dream!

Click below to see news articles about Andrews accomplishment:

First Down Syndrome Summit of the Grand Teton
Up Is the New Down

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  1. Kim Mathwich,

    What an inspiration you are Andrew to others who want to pursue and achieve goals. I am wanting to visit with you more about your story and how you could help others be motivated to achieve their goals.


  2. Ann Stirling,MBS , ABD,

    Persons often underestimate this population what they can achieve, feelings and what they have to offer the world. Congratulations for proving what some many of us take for granted. Working in this field after many years in the international world of business, they taught me how to open my heart which had been closed for loving life again.As an old Chinese proverb “Onward and upward.


  3. Sherry,

    Awe-inspiring! Congratulations on your achievement!


  4. Keva,

    Wow what an amazing achievement! Thank you for sharing your story Andrew, Max and Amy you are an inspiration to me and everyone who reads this !!


  5. Amanda Dudley,

    Incredible – and what a wonderful photo!
    Keep following your dreams!



    Awesome, Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing Andrew, Max and Amy!


  7. Barb Johnson,

    This story is not only inspiring but demonstrates the love for life and family and how important family is to be happy and successful when they work together. What a beautiful family sharing life to its fullest working around all the ups and downs to meet their goal – now ready to set another goal, I am sure.