When she was young, even before her twenties, Janelle Boston dreamed of climbing Mount Tyson in Australia. With this adventurous goal in mind, she headed for the foot of the mountain, prepared to trek up to the skies. Unfortunately, bad weather canceled the hike proper. Boston was determined to return, but a grimmer storm was on her horizon. In her twenties, Boston was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). As an MS patient, she had her motor abilities significantly impacted by the neurodegenerative condition.
It seemed the mountain in Tully, Queensland was to become a distant aspiration left unfulfilled. She never fully forgot, however. So when she saw a particular post on the Tully Community Cuppa and Chats Facebook group, her heart went right back to that mountain. The post focused on things people wish they’d done in their lives. Boston thought immediately of Mount Tyson and shared her story. Soon after, her dream of climbing Mount Tyson became a reality.
A wistful comment caught all the right people’s attention
Graham Sollitt, the group administrator who made that post, saw Boston’s reply. Reading her story, Sollitt told ABC News, he felt compelled to act. After he swallowed the lump of grief in his throat, he recalls, “I came up with the idea: why not ask Tully Rugby League if they’d be interested in doing a training run up the mountain and maybe they could take Janelle up there on a training run.”
Anthony Emmi, president of the Tully Tigers rugby league club, agreed, and so some forty people assembled to give this MS patient the chance to change dreams into reality. To accomplish this, a local welder put together a custom chair so Boston could sit comfortably. It also, importantly, allowed members of the Rugby League to carry her up Moun Tully. The forty volunteers took turns carrying Boston as she beamed throughout the whole five-hour trip.
Generations are touched by acts of selflessness
Boston herself is a grandmother, content in watching the next generation flourish. On the day of the hike, she got to experience that joy every parent wants for their children for herself. All the while, her own mother issued words of profound gratitude for everyone who made that day possible. Her mother told ABC, “I’m ever so grateful to all those people.” She was pleasantly stunned by how the volunteers did not let anything stop them from helping Boston reach her goal. “Some guy piggybacked her up a certain part that was just too steep for them to carry the chair. People like that who are so generous deserve so much recognition.”
She went on, “I can say thank you but they just really won’t understand what it means to me, what they have done for Janelle.” Those who volunteered to help come not just from the Tully Rugby League. When first hearing Boston’s story, Sollitt asked his fitness trainer Tracee Harris if she would like to be involved. After agreeing she went a step further and reached out to her other clients. Those interested joined the dozens more flocking to let Boston finally climb Mount Tyson. It was also Harris who arranged for the welder to make Boston’s special chair.