A Mountain to Climb

Meet the Marquez family

The Marquez family hiked a 17-mile trail to the top of Yosemite National Park's Half Dome.
by Quest Staff on October 30, 2014 - 9:09am

Quest Fall 2014

Earlier this year, Bonnie and Ethan Marquez and their sons, Peyton, 8, and Logan, 11, were on vacation in Yosemite National Park when Peyton, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), became intrigued by the park’s famous Half Dome — a 4,700-foot-high granite rock formation in the shape of, you guess it, a dome sliced in half.

Peyton Marquez

“I wanted to climb it because it looked really cool, and I wanted to see what was up there,” says Peyton, who attended MDA summer camp earlier this year. 

Although the hike is often strenuous for even advanced hikers, Ethan started to research the hike and eventually decided that it was something the family could do. In order to make the hike safely, the Marquez family used standard safety equipment and carried Peyton in a special backpack, in which he could sit comfortably,

After those plans were figured out, the family, along with five of their friends who were set on helping Peyton reach the top, ventured out and successfully completed the approximately 17-mile hike. 

“It was humbling,” says Bonnie. “Just knowing that all those people came together to help us. It restores your faith in humanity. They weren’t going to fail in the quest to get Peyton to the top. So it was a really beautiful experience even though it was grueling.”

As for the future, the family has plans to participate in a Seattle-to-Portland bike ride next year; however, Peyton is still unsure about what his next adventure should be.

“But we’re thinking right now,” he says.   

Peyton Marquez and his family actively participate in MDA events — in the last year alone, Peyton attended MDA summer camp and the whole family took part in a local MDA Muscle Walk. To track the adventures and stories of Peyton and his family, visit peytons-project.org. And to find out how you also can get involved with MDA, just head to mda.org 

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