Shadow Summit: One Man, His Diagnosis, and the Road to a Vibrant Life

Jon Chandonnet was doing something he’d always been able to do without fail or question: push his body, test his heart’s capacity, challenge the strength and response of his muscles, coordinate all the moving pieces with purpose.

JC_SS_3D_PagesBut for the first time in his life, on a basketball court in Cambridge, MA, Chandonnet’s 27-year-old body pushed back.

His left leg and hand went dead. So odd, so unexpected, that Jon dismissed it as nothing. A “freak occurrence.” But it wasn’t.

He went to see a doctor, who ordered an MRI. The results were stunning. Jon had lesions on the brain indicating multiple sclerosis.

He had no idea how to respond to the diagnosis. So he didn’t. “I was 27 years old,” says Chandonnet. “I had the world by the tail. I thought, ‘Forget this.’”

For more than six years after the diagnosis, he lived by that credo – running marathons, climbing Mt. Whitney, pushing his physical limits to the edge. Professionally he built a strong reputation leading teams of software developers to launch start-up companies and build enterprise applications.

But MS caught up to him in a fierce way. After two years of deterioration, he could barely take care of himself. His wife, Robyn, and family convinced Jon that he could no longer ignore the reality of his condition. “We knew that we had to turn this around,” he says. He had things that he wanted to do, first among them to be a father.

But traditional medications and treatments did little to stem the disease’s momentum. Frustrated with the direction of his health, Chandonnet wanted to try something different.

Shadow Summit is Jon’s journey through a comprehensive overhaul that saw him change careers, revolutionize his diet, and, as a consequence, change his life.


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