Published on April 06, 2018

Amy Daniels - Climbing Mountains After Therapy


Amy Daniels, a lifelong athlete, is always on the go, always on the lookout for an incredible experience. An avid hiker and backpacker, Daniels has scaled mountains, and hiked trails around the world. So when she decided to climb Mount Rainier for her 50th birthday three years ago, nothing was going to hold her back—not even chronic pain from an injury she suffered 18 years ago.

Climbing Mount Rainier would require top physical conditioning. But during her training Daniels injured her shoulder and lost all mobility in her arm. Thanks to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Outpatient Therapy, Daniels was able to see her dream come true. “I needed to mend my arm and my doctor suggested therapy,” she said. “My neighbor mentioned Henry Mayo so I met with Julie [Barker] and she tested every part of my body for strength and symmetry. I’ve never had that kind of approach to rehab.”

Daniels worked for several months with the physical therapists at Henry Mayo. “They created incredible exercises that would mimic glacier climbing on Mount Rainier. They gave me the tools to prepare for this trip. They custom created a program. It was an extraordinary rehab that turned into training for the climb.” A resident of Valencia for 25 years, Daniels raised her three sons here. She shares her love of adventure with Josh, 22, Noah, 21, and Zach, 18, and they frequently join her on her trips. They were especially excited when she was able to make the climb of a lifetime in 2013.

"They were as excited as I was,” she said. “I made my goal and hit that milestone. It was an incredibly emotional experience for me.” Daniels still does the exercises she was taught at Henry Mayo, every day. When she isn’t at her job as Executive Director of the WiSH Education Foundation, supporting the schools of Hart District, she’s outside enjoying life. And she continues her adventures, whether it’s scuba diving, skydiving or hiking the Grand Canyon.