Double Amputee Climbs 19,000 ft-high Kilimanjaro by Crawling on his Hands for Seven Days
For most able able-bodied people, scaling the 19,341 ft-high Mt. Kilimanjaro is a formidable task, yet double amputee Spencer West managed to do it just be using his hands.
Spencer, 31, from Toronto, Canada, lost his legs when he was just five years old due to being born with sacral agenesis, a genetic disorder that affected his lower spine.
His trek to the top of one of the world’s highest peaks took seven days to complete, and saw the courageous Canadian and his two best friends (Alex Meers and David Johnson) hiking through Tanzanian jungles, deserts and fields of thick snow. Due to the nature of the terrain, Spencer was forced to do most of the journey on his hands, as his custom-made wheelchair showed its limitations.
Only around half of the people who attempt to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro actually succeed, which makes Spencer’s achievement even more incredible.
Spencer trained for well over a year in order to scale Africa’s tallest peak, and upon reaching the top he said, “The summit sign seemed almost like a mirage.”
He added, “We looked around and realised that, after seven grueling days of relentless climbing, after 20,000 feet of our blood, sweat, tears and vomit we had actually made it”
What was the purpose of Spencer’s climb? In his own words, “I set out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro not only to redefine what’s possible for me, but to inspire others to overcome obstacles and challenges of their own, and to give back to communities, that need our help”
“Reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro was the most mentally and physically challenging thing I have ever done, but in doing so, it reinforced the powerful message behind believing in yourself, and believing in others.”
Spencer’s amazing feat has helped raised over £300,000 for the Free The Children charity, which is currently helping out thousands of Kenyan children during a drought.
Photo credit: SWNS.com
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