Think your goals are big? Wisconsin dairy veterinarian Lance Fox, DVM, accomplished his goal of climbing Mount Everest, all the while deworming yaks for the local Sherpas along the way.
Fox, now a technical services veterinarian for Diamond V, climbed Everest in 2009 and recently published a book No Place But UP! about what led him to this spectacular feat that few others have done. Two life events spurred his ascent to Everest – the early death of his father from Hodgkins lymphoma, and then the premature birth of his son, both which demonstrated to him the fragility of life.
True to a veterinarian’s nature, he also used his experience to help the local population by deworming yak herds. “To be able use my skills as a bovine practitioner in the States by helping a culture (Sherpa) promote the health and wellbeing of their beloved yaks, in turn positively impacting the peoples’ livelihood, is hard to describe in words,” Fox told me.
“I was deep in the Himalayas the first time in 2009 to climb Mount Everest and work with the yaks. I returned in 2011 to expand the work on the yaks. During the 2010 climbing season on Everest numerous Sherpa had been asking, ‘Where is the yak doctor?’ Hearing that reinforced why I needed to return in 2011 and why I plan on going back again to work on their animals.”
At the time of his first visit in 2009, animal health companies Alpharma and Intervet/Schering-Plough provided financial assistance as well as donations of SafeGuard cattle dewormer. For future trips to work with yaks, Fox says Animart and Pfizer animal health are donating product for him to share with the Sherpa people.
And true to his Wisconsin nature, he has a photograph of himself on Everest wearing a Wisconsin cheesehead.
What’s next for this mountain-climbing, yak-deworming, veterinarian cheesehead? He’ll most likely climb some more “fourteeners” in Colorado and has even talked about climbing Mount McKinley (a.k.a. Denali) in Alaska with several of his Everest teammates from 2009. Fox’s yak project in Nepal keeps him busy as well. “Watching my children grow has certainly been my greatest passion, however, so spending more time with them over the coming years is important to me.”
Fox’s single greatest hope is not just allowing people to see and hear what it is like to climb to the highest point on our planet, but rather what it is like to pursue a dream with passion. “Everyone has their own ‘Everest.’ I hope my book and public presentations will inspire my audiences to go after their dreams and to overcome adversity.”
What’s your Mount Everest?
To order a copy of No Place But UP!, visit www.lulu.com and search for “Lance Fox”.