Woodlands Retiree Prepares to Climb Highest Mountain in the Americas to Raise Money for Parkinson's Research

By: Juan Melli
| Published 11/27/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- In less than two months, Woodlands retiree Tomas “Tommy” Melli will climb Aconcagua in the Andes - the highest peak outside of Asia - an endeavor not just for personal achievement, but to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research.

Goal to raise $22,837 for Michael J. Fox Foundation as part of climb of 22,837-foot Aconcagua already exceeded

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago, Tommy has turned adversity into adventure. After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro last year, the 67-year-old Argentina native set his sights on climbing Aconcagua’s formidable 22,837 feet, along with the symbolic fundraising goal of raising $22,837 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. With contributions and commitments already surpassing $30,000 as of November, Tommy has raised the bar to a new target of $45,674 — double the initial goal.

“Many things go through your head when you are on a mountain – feeling cold, exhausted, struggling to breathe the thin air, and wondering who in their sane mind would do something like this?” said Tommy. “Knowing that every foot I continue, I will be adding funds to a search for a cure will lift me up and drive me forward.”

Supporters can follow Tommy's journey and contribute at, with 100% of the funds raised going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Located in Argentina, Aconcagua is the second tallest of the “Seven Summits” and stands as the highest point in the Western and Southern Hemispheres.

“This is more than a personal challenge; I’m climbing up to help take Parkinson's down,” added Tommy.

Tommy’s hike is scheduled to begin on January 2, 2024, and last about 18 days as part of an expedition led by Argentina Extrema, staunch supporters of the effort.

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