Spencer West lost both his legs at age five as a result of a genetic disorder. He’s overcome stereotyping and bullying. He’s met every challenge in his life with grace, becoming a motivational speaker and fundraiser.
Last week he began his ascent on his biggest challenge yet: reaching the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the African continent.
Today, June 19, West and his two traveling companions, David and Alex, reached the summit of Uhuru Peak, nearly 20,000 feet above sea level.
The moment the summit was within sight… it was incredible. We looked around – me, David and Alex – and realized that, after seven grueling days of relentless climbing, after 20,000 feet of our blood, sweat and tears (and, let’s face it, vomit) we had actually made it. We were at the top. The summit sign seemed almost like a mirage.
Then it sunk in. We made it. To the top of the mountain. The mountain that I promised to the world I would climb. The bleeding fingers and blisters were all worth it. I looked at the guys, my two buddies who dreamed up this crazy plan with me, and realized we actually finished what we started.
West told the BBC he walked on his hands for about 80 percent of the trip (only 80%? Slacker!) and used a chair for much of the rest. In a few spots, where his hands or a chair wouldn’t do, his friends carried him. Listen to a quick clip with the BBC here.
West, who is nothing short of a true inspiration, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help children in Africa as part of his seven-day conquest.
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