Bonnie Thies was a two-time cancer survivor who decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to cope with the sudden death of her husband. Robin L. Flanigan was a freelance journalist on the same climb. The two women struck up a friendship and, after years of of working together, now celebrate the release of their narrative nonfiction book Climbing Out: An Adventure in Rediscovering Life after Loss. Come here them talk about the book, which captures Bonnie’s captivating journey to uncover the healing power of community, self-love, and resilience—one step at a time.

Bonnie Thies has hiked, backpacked, or paddled in seven countries—England, Ireland, Romania, Africa, Greenland, Canada, and the United States, including Alaska—and is married to a man she met while training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. A retired electrical engineer, she volunteers at a local hospice, is active in her church community, and has been featured in the book Moments of Truth, Gifts of Love: Women of Community and Spirit Journey through Breast Cancer.
Robin L. Flanigan is a national award-winning freelance journalist and former newsroom beat reporter. In addition to the book 100 Things To Do In Rochester Before You Die, published by Reedy Press, she has authored the celebrity-endorsed children’s book M is for Mindful and the narrative nonfiction book Climbing Out: An Adventure in Rediscovering Life After Loss. Robin currently is working on a research-based memoir about religious trauma.