Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!

Maybe you’ve heard our amazing news about our amazing Chris Bombardier! The FIRST person with hemophilia to summit Mt. Everest, Mt. Vinson… and well, all Seven Summits!
Chris sits on the board of Save One Life, the nonprofit that I founded, and he shares my love of mountains and my passion for helping people with hemophilia suffering without treatment in developing countries. Together, we are trying to improve their lives.
Our deepest thanks go to Chris, and also to Octapharma, because this manufacturer of human protein products funded these last two mountain climbs, which are expensive and out of reach of most people. Octapharma helped make this dream come true. It was a true team effort! I promised them I’d post this press release. Please read and show your appreciation to them as well!
Octapharma Support Enables Bombardier to Climb Mount Vinson, Becoming First Hemophiliac to Ascend the Seven Summits 

Octapharma Partnership with Mountain Climber will Culminate with 
Release of Documentary Bombardier Blood Later This Year 

HOBOKEN, N.J. (January 25, 2018) – Mountain climber Chris Bombardier of Denver, Colorado on January 6th became the first hemophiliac to climb the Seven Summits of the world with his successful climb of Mount Vinson in Antarctica, a journey made possible with a grant from Octapharma USA. The Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent, are a feat just over 400 people can claim. 
Octapharma USA also sponsored Bombardier’s climb in 2017 up Mount Everest, the historic mountain in Nepal. Octapharma’s partnership with the mountain climber also includes sponsorship of Bombardier Blood, a documentary scheduled for release later this year that will tell his inspirational story. 
“It was incredible to have Octapharma as a partner on this climb as well,” said Bombardier. “Climbing the 16,050 feet of Mount Vinson was the last climb in my dream of completing the Seven Summits. I could not have made it without the support of Octapharma, Save One Life and countless others. Together, we have shown the world what can be achieved with the proper support and medical treatment.” 
Octapharma USA President Flemming Nielsen said that Bombardier’s journey has inspired thousands of people around the world. 
“Chris has shown all of us that anything is possible if we keep working toward our dreams,” said Nielsen. “Everyone at Octapharma congratulates Chris on this incredible accomplishment. It has been an honor for Octapharma to support his mission and we want him to know that our team has been cheering him on with every step of this incredible journey.” 
Editing for Bombardier Blood will wrap in the spring, according to Believe Limited CEO Patrick James Lynch, the documentary’s director and a filmmaker with severe Hemophilia. 
“We are so proud of Chris for showing the world what people with Hemophilia are capable of when they have access to medication,” said Lynch. “With proper medical care, we can accomplish anything. Believe Limited is grateful to Octapharma for helping to bring this message to people worldwide.” 
Bombardier Blood highlights the disparity in health care in Nepal using Bombardier’s recent Everest summit as a backdrop. Please visit www.bombardierblood.com for more information and a preview of the documentary. 
About the Octapharma Group 
Headquartered in Lachen, Switzerland, Octapharma is one of the largest human protein products manufacturers in the world and has been committed to patient care and medical innovation since 1983. Its core business is the development and production of human proteins from human plasma and human cell lines. Octapharma employs approximately 7,100 people worldwide to support the treatment of patients in over 113 countries with products across the following therapeutic areas: Hematology (coagulation disorders), Immunotherapy (immune disorders) and Critical Care. The company’s American subsidiary, Octapharma USA, is located in Hoboken, N.J. Octapharma operates two state-of-the-art production sites licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), providing a high level of production flexibility. For more information, please visit www.octapharmausa.com. 
PHOTO CAPTION: 
Mountain climber Chris Bombardier of Denver, Colorado on January 6th became the first hemophiliac to climb the Seven Summits of the world with his successful climb of Mount Vinson in Antarctica, a journey made possible with a grant from Octapharma USA. 
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Fred Feiner 
Yankee Public Relations 
fred@yankeepr.com 
908-425-4878 
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OCTA-0178 

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Octapharma USA, Inc.• 121 River Street, Suite 1201• Hoboken, NJ 07030 • 201-604-1130 • www.octapharmausa.com 

Chris’ Christmas Gift to the World

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough. —Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I’ve never met anyone in my life–and I have met some pretty amazing people in my several careers–who dreamed a dream, set the course, followed through against all odds, and made it happen in the way that Chris Bombardier has. If you met him, and I hope you do, you would be thunderstruck that this shy, extremely humble young man will soon conquer the Seven Summits.

Chris Bombardier

And not just achieving an incredible goal that only about 450 people in the history of the world have ever done. No one has ever done this who has a bleeding disorder. No one might ever repeat this in my lifetime. We are witnessing history in the making! In hemophilia terms, this ranks right up there with landing a man on the moon.

Chris leaves tomorrow, Christmas Day, for the last adventure on this journey that has consumed the last few years of his young life. I interviewed him last week, before the holidays. How did he feel?

“I’m looking forward to my last summit bid—Mt. Vinson. I’m leaving my wife and family on Christmas Day to basically a frozen desert. On December 29, I’ll leave from Chile to fly to the Antarctica continent. I’ll land on Union Glacier, and from there we will get a flight to the mountain base camp, but everything depends on the weather. Base camp is a few miles from the base of Vinson. We’ll stay at camp, sort out our gear, then start the hike.”

I actually traveled with Chris last March when we trekked to Everest base camp, which took 9 days. It was freezing by the time we got to base camp. I stayed three days but Chris had to stay about a month to acclimate, as Everest is 29,000 feet. How long will it take to summit Vinson, which is 16,050 feet?

“It should take us about seven days total. Our challenges this time isn’t the lack of oxygen, like on Everest, but the weather and temperatures. Temperatures can be all over the place, but pretty much it will be below zero all of the time. The wind is the worst here. The wind brings the temperature down, and you can easily get frostbitten.”

With Chris will be his trustworthy guide Ryan Waters, founder and president of Mountain Professionals of Colorado. Ryan’s guided Chris on 5 of the Seven Summits. This one will make it 6! This trip, like the Everest one, is being fully sponsored by Octapharma, which manufactures blood-clotting products like Nuwiq® and wilate®.

What’s even more impressive is that Chris has undertaken these climbs not to make history or for personal glory. He knows that it will gather world-wide attention, but not for himself, but to highlight the inequity in treatment for those with hemophilia in developing countries. He worked in Kenya, before he started his climbs, helping to establish a lab in Eldoret, and what he saw convinced him he had to draw attention to how much people with bleeding disorders suffer. Chris and I met in 2011 at a NACCHO conference; after I gave my talk about our work in developing countries helping people with bleeding disorders, Chris told me he wanted to do the Seven Summits–just a wild dream he had to help bring attention to this problem.  A lover of mountains myself, and avid reader of those who undergo extreme hardship while exploring (David Livingston, I presume?) and achieving (Mallory, because he’s there), and reading everything I could get my hands on related to summiting anything, I told Chris go for it, and I will help in every way humanly possible. He did all the training and work, and I’ve been cheering him on! And Chris joined our board of directors at Save One Life.

Chris wants to dedicate this climb to raising money for our scholarship program. He writes, 

“With your support, I know I can make this climb successful! 

Follow Chris’s adventures here!

“No longer can anyone say that someone with hemophilia can’t climb Everest, Vinson or reach any dream, as long as they have with proper treatment, training and medical care. By standing on these Seven Summits, I hope to show what is possible. I hope by holding the Save One Life banner on each summit we can show the world that only 25% of people living with hemophilia even have access to adequate treatment to chase dreams.  Let’s help everyone aim for their dreams by helping to raise $16,050—the height of Vinson— for our scholarships!”

Chris is doing the hard part; let’s help him achieve this last mountain and goal by raising $16,050! If he can climb Vinson, then we can raise the money!

Watch a message from Chris as he prepares to leave…

Our thanks to Octapharma for sponsoring this incredible, history-making adventure!

 
 

Hemophilia History Made: Everest Summit!

Mountaineer Chris Bombardier

He did it! History made!  Chris
Bombardier, the young man from Denver, Colorado with hemophilia B, around 10 pm last night became the first person in history with hemophilia to summit Mt.
Everest! Everest alone is an incredible challenge due to the high altitude,
which kicks in on the nine-day trek to base camp at about 10,000 feet. Everest
is 29,029 ft. Chris has hemophilia,
and faces prolonged bleeding from injuries. He uses an extended half-life product,
which will help increase the length of time factor circulates in his blood. So
many have asked how he is protecting himself: factor, prophylaxis, oxygen
tanks, and great sherpas to help guide him. It takes a special kind of person
to dream of this, train for this, and take on this. And he is doing this not just for personal best record or even to make history, but to shine a spotlight on the huge disparity in care between hemophilia treatment in countries like the US and in countries like Nepal.

Read from his blog, Adventures of a Hemophiliac. What does a guy with hemophilia think
and feel before undertaking a history-making adventure?
Infusing on a rock!

TUESDAY May 16



I finished my last infusion at base camp and tomorrow morning
our team will begin our summit push. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the
feelings I am currently having. I’m excited, nervous, scared and hopeful all at
the same time. I know the next week of my life will be incredibly hard, full of
moments of questioning my sanity and of overwhelming joy. I’ll be able to
witness some of the most amazing views on this planet and also be more
exhausted than I have ever been.

Through the hard moments and the amazing moments I know that I have a family
that is supporting me no matter what. My beautiful and strong wife, my
incredible parents, aunts, uncles and friends will be with me ever step of the
way. I also know that I have my bleeding disorder family from all over the
globe cheering me on and that makes me feel strong.

As I pack my gear and put my boots on in the morning and walk into the [Khumbu]
icefall with only the light of my headlamp showing the way, I’ll think about
how fortunate I am to be able to choose this life and this adventure. Choose to
try and push myself farther than I could ever dream and step on the top of the
world. I’ll also think about all my blood brothers and sisters that aren’t able
to have that choice…. yet. I’ll remember that by standing on the summit and
by raising awareness about hemophilia and disparity in care, we can change that.

The hope is that we can summit on May 22. While I am challenging myself on the
mountain I want to challenge all of you. We already met the goal of finding
sponsors for every child on the Save One Life,
Inc.
 website. 55 kids have now been sponsored since I began
this adventure! Let’s not stop there!

The climbers promoting Save One Life
I would love to see the fundraising page for my Everest climb
reach $8,848, the amount of meters above
sea level the summit reaches. I won’t know if we’ve reached that goal until two
days after the summit and I reach basecamp but that would be icing on the cake.
Those funds will help those with hemophilia in Nepal continue to rebuild after
the earthquake. It will help them climb their own personal “Everest”
and work towards living the lives they choose. I would also urge you to reach
out to Save One Life and put your name on the waiting list to sponsor a child.
There will be more children added soon and they all could use our help.

Thank you all for the support and hopefully in few days no one will be able to
say someone with hemophilia can’t climb Everest. 

Navigating the Khumbu icefall: first steps to Everest

And thanks to Octapharma for sponsoring Chris’s historic
climb!
Visit our Gallery to see the trek to base camp!
Visit our Gallery to see our visit to Nepal’s hemophilia families
Read more about our Nepal trip here!
“Climbing, simply and joyfully, is the way I love the world.” Steph Davis, High Infactuation: A Climber’s Guide to Love and Gravity

Start of Our Trek! April 2-6, 2017

Sunday April 2, 2017 
Jess and Chris Bombardier
“Do not imagine that the journey is short; and one must have the heart of a lion to follow this unusual road, for it is very long… one plods along in a state of amazement, sometimes smiling, sometimes weeping.”   Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds: A Sufi Fable
The climb begins! I’m accompanying Chris Bombardier of Denver to Everest Base Camp, where Chris will stay till end of May in the attempt to be the first person with hemophilia to summit Mt. Everest! (www.bombardierblood.com)
Day 1 of our base camp trek started at the Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu at 4:15 am. I was up, packed and ready to roll by 4:45 am. Ryan Waters, the team’s mountaineer guide, and lead Sherpa Tashi loaded everything into the bus and we were all off to the airport: me, Chris and Jess Bombardier, cameraman Rob Bradford and seven other climbers.
Laurie Kelley in Lukla
The sky was dark, the streets of Kathmandu empty. Security was easy. The flight to Lukla was only 45 minutes; this is the famous airport with about the shortest runway in the world! The flight got extremely turbulent at one point. We disembarked at Lukla and it was stunning. 9,000 feet high with soaring snow-capped peaks surrounding it. My first impression were all the faces of the young Nepalese men, hoping to be chosen as porters, peering at us eagerly through the mesh-wire fence at the perimeter of the tiny airport. It was only 7 am . We walked up the steps and met Lukla.
Lukla is a village, teeming with small shops on cobblestone streets, displaying everything you need to trek. Mixed breed mountain dogs lounged on doorsteps in the sunshine, women set up their wares outside their shops. There was an abundance of restaurants and hotels. It was thriving. We all gathered upstairs at a restaurant for breakfast and tea. I had hot muesli—delicious, and “milk tea,” which is creamy and thick. 
We walked about town while waiting for Rob’s luggage to arrive. I bought a used fleece buff, which I needed later. We visited a monastery there, which was amazingly beautiful. We also strode up to a stupa, to see the fluttering prayer flags with the Himalaya as a backdrop. The name Himalaya means home (alya) of snow (hima).

At last the lost luggage arrived and we started hiking. We walked a whole 15 minutes before we had to stop at the Everest Forest Gate to get permits. A small yak stood waiting. The sun was getting stronger already and soon we were sweating. We went downhill and much of the trail reminded me of those in New Hampshire. It was very rocky and uneven, tricky to navigate. The trail led to a huge valley with a river that ran with silvery turquoise water. Porters dodged us as they hurried by with huge loads, secured by plastic band across their foreheads. Some only wore flip flops on these rugged trails.
Everest National Park
Chris and Ryan watch the yak caravan
We hiked for a little over an hour, passing little villages with shops and “mani stones,” huge black rocks with the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum  (“Hail to the jewel in the lotus”) carved into the stone and painted white. We stopped for lunch at a wonderful outdoor restaurant in the heart of hills.
Mani Stones: “Om Mani Padme Hum”
We set out again at 2 pm, over long, metal suspension bridges that sway over deep gorges. Lacing them were prayer flags in the colors of the world: blue for sky; white for air; green for water; yellow for earth; red for fire. Down rocky courses, up hills, always hiking to the left of the stupas or mani stones, the clockwise direction in which the earth and the universe revolve, according to Buddhist doctrine. We were warned about the many yak caravans. They stop for nothing. When you hear the cowbells jangling on the necks of the yaks, you must step aside, preferably against the stones or hill, and not near the edge of a trail, where you might get pushed off!
Laurie Kelley and Chris Bombardier on a
suspension bridge
There is so much traffic on the trail; it’s not at all what I expected. We pass through village after village. A writhing fence made of  thorn vines borders one trail. Above crows caw loudly like old men with a joke: ha HA!
I climb one steep section and am winded! At 3:30 pm we reach our first tea house, quiet though rustic. My room is upstairs, four walls, a green rug, a little table and two little beds. I have a view of a beautiful mountain. It’s cold; I’m sweaty. There’s one communal bathroom for the whole floor. And… I have severe heartburn. 
Tuesday April 4, 2017

We had climbed 2,000 feet yesterday, which took us about 5 hours, the longest day of the trek. After arriving at the tea house, I changed clothes to keep warm. The dining room has little tables around the perimeter, all wood but very cold. All I ate was porridge for dinner, not feeling hungry. As soon as I was done I went to bed. 
Dodh Kosi River
We were up early in the frigid air. I was shaking as I got out of my warm sleeping bag. The hike today was not hard but so crowded! You actually were rubbing shoulders with other people along the trail, trying to avoid the powerful yaks as they passed. The scenery was beautiful. Soaring mountains, snow-capped, rising above the pine trees. The rushing Dodh Kosi river is the color of sea-glass. We became sweaty hot when we stepped into the sunshine but as soon as we hit shade it became chilly. The well-defined trail rambled up and down, mostly up, then down a dirt path as we strolled through another village. Sometimes you even had to wait in line to ascend an area!
We stopped for lunch this day at a small, touristy restaurant, and a border collie collapsed at my feet. I offered it rice but it wasn’t interested–village dogs are that well fed. I had a hearty lunch of rice and sauce. The sun was searing!
We headed out again and passed through pastoral scenes: stone cottages, cabbage fields, women hoeing. Everywhere prayer flags fluttered. At some point I lost the group and just hiked amidst all the other tourists of different nationalities. We did come to a huge suspension bridge, the one portrayed in the movie Everest. It’s over a 200 foot gorge with the crashing Dodh Kosi river below. It buckled and swayed under us, making us feel like we were in a funhouse. 
I breathed heavily and took it slow; my lower back started aching. Maybe I overloaded my backpack? Even Chris took my jacket to spare me some weight. Pasan, one of our sherpas, offered to carry my pack finally. Bless him! Now he was carrying about 50 lbs. in weight while I had none. And still I struggled. Yaks walked ahead of us, blocking the trail and mercifully slowing us down.
After an hour we made it to Namche Bazar, a famous stop over for trekkers. I could only think about crawling into bed. Chris made me feel better by saying that the group only had arrived 10 minutes ahead of me, but it felt like an hour.
My small room had three cots, and… a private bathroom and shower! And hot water. It was 4 pm and I laid down and drifted in and out of sleep. I didn’t realize it but I was being slowly overtaken by food poisoning.
Tashi and Pasan later look in on me, and brought me garlic soup, which they claimed was good for me, thinking I had altitude sickness. But nothing smelled or tasted good. Even water didn’t appeal to me. Ryan came in to check on me and I was bundled in bed, up to my chin, drained. I took two sips of water and immediately vomited. Everything passed through me till there was nothing left, all night long. It was a miserable, long night. The attacks came so violently. I started thinking dismal thoughts: I’m weak, I can’t even master 11,000 feet! I have to give up trekking. Chris will never want to climb with me again. 
In the morning, I don’t ever remember feeling so dehydrated. It’s a panicky feeling. I only wanted a tangerine or apple; so Tashi found some for me, and I gingerly ate them. Ryan gave me an anti-nausea pill which did the trick. Finally I could drink water and keep it down. Nothing ever tasted as good as that tangerine. 
I rested all morning in bed. Later, I joined our climbers for lunch, where I only managed one piece of toast and tea.  Even the short walk up the stairs to my room tired me out. It was luxurious to lay on a cot, two piles of fleece blankets on me. By evening, Ryan came to visit again, and we talked options. The best one was for me to stay in Namche an extra day and catch up with the group in two days, on Friday (their rest day). I would have one Sherpa with me. I felt badly being the weak link, then learned also that Rob had been ill as well.
Wednesday April 5, 2017
I felt so much better when I awoke at 7 am. I said my goodbyes to the group, and Tashi hugged me good-bye as they all left. Back in the room, the last thing I wanted was to crawl back into bed. That was a good sign. And after two hours I was hungry again. I showered with steaming hot, solar-heated water, for a last shower in who knows how long. 
The Nepalese all want me to stay warm. Put on a hat. Drink garlic soup. Have tea. Such lovely people: quiet, respectful, kind. You never observe loud, brash, self-important behavior. 
3:44 pm. We’re back from our little trek up to the Sherpa museum. The walk was hard at first. Slow, slow, step by step. I had to get my breathing right; my quads burned. The stone steps up to the museum are ragged and well traversed, decorated with yak dung the whole way up. Lhakpa, my personal sherpa, is so thoughtful. He took my camera, my coat and hat, whatever I didn’t need. He dropped my hat accidentally, then retrieved it and meticulously dusted it off. The vista at the top of the hill was obscured by clouds but at least I saw the statue of Tenzing Norgay, the first person known to summit Mt. Everest, along with Sir Edmund Hillary.  

Thursday April 6, 2017

Last night in Namche. I went to bed at 8:30 pm after a brief dinner I had no heart for. Just half a bowl of vegetable soup, an egg, a slice of apple and potato slices. Although we are still in Namche, I had to have my room moved, as I was not supposed to be here last night. My new room was tiny, ground floor, in a poorly made shed-like abode. The walls are paper thin and I could actually here every sound, even breathing, of people next door. I read for a while, tried to sleep, but it’s too noisy. My heart seemed to be pounding in my chest from the altitude. I slept from 11 pm to 1 am, then the village dogs started their infernal barking, up to three bouts an hour. I was up for good at 5 am.
I felt better today despite all. I sat outside in the sunshine, waiting for Lhakpa, watching the comings and goings. Finally we stepped out. Lhakpa had to carry his backpack and my rucksack. He’s only 29 and couldn’t weight more than 130 lbs. This was a huge load to carry. But if I struggled with my jacket, he was there to help. 
Then we started, straight up the steps at a 45° angle. I was already winded and we had barely started! I felt like an old car that tries to turn over on a cold morning, and after a few tries, gets started but needs time to warm up. Yaks passed, cow bells jangling. It was a sky-blue day and the Khumba valley opened below us to an incredible vista. This trek would take us to the Tenbouche monastery and eventually Dingbouche. We walked at a slow pace, no rush. 
There were long sections of uphill climbs, through pine trees. We slogged away, step by step. I’d pause to breathe and let porters hike by. It’s amazing how much the porters carry. One porter carried enormous slabs of plywood, four sheets at about 8′ by 4′, and he all of 5′ tall. Another old porter carried a washing machine box on his back, and a rucksack, and another box. It was three times his size. 
Eventually we came to a clearing where I saw my first glimpse of Mt. Everest! Stunning! Clouds fluttered and streamed from its peak like the numerous prayer flags we saw. The mountains defy description. Brown barren rock mountains in the foreground, seemingly strategically placed to lead the eye to distant Everest, so coldly beautifully.
Prayer wheels
Downhill, uphill. The trail was edged by juniper and other conifer trees. I plodded at a yak pace. Except that yaks passed me! The yaks are enormous, shaggy-furred cattle creatures with huge horns. After lunch we clacked over the metal suspension bridge with spectacular views on either side. Even coming off the bridge, going slightly uphill, my quads burned. We saw prayer wheels that turned eternally, hydropowered by the river below it; as they spin they send their prayers off to heaven. 
There was a lot of uphill trekking and honestly we all struggled. Sherpas, porters, women, men, young, old, Japanese, Hungarian, Spanish… we all moved like in slow motion. The sun seared us, but the mountains called us.
 Lots of dusty switchbacks, up and up. Occasionally a yak plodded down, bareback, its load deposited at base camp. I was so slow I separated from everyone, including my Sherpa.  Finally, around 3 pm, we reached the Tenbouche Monastery, at 12,687 feet, founded in 1923.
Lhakpa was no where to be seen. So I waited in the shade, and gazed at the amazing, peaceful monastery. I was amused to see the shaved-head monks walking about in their crimson robes, with Nike sneakers on. I went inside the monastery, removing my dirty hiking boots. Outside, the most peaceful of scenes: grass, stupas, three beautiful horses grazing until three rowdy dogs chased them. A helicopter landed, sending a yak scurrying, depositing a trekker. Fluttering prayer flags provided bursts of color everywhere. Inside, a sole monk chanted prayers, fingering his beads, while trekkers like me sat quietly around the perimeter on mats, waiting. The room was brightly painted with scenes of Buddha.
Back outside, I found Lhakpa. This was not our final destination, so we kept walking, another 15-20 minutes to Dibouche, passing a well-defined and treacherously rocky route, lined by deciduous trees, Finally our tea house, “Rivendell,” named after the Lord of the Rings home of the elves. I saw a big room, private bath. We would give it a one-star, but to me it could not be more four-star! Hot water… simple pleasures. I was deliriously happy!

(Read part 2 next week!)



Off to Nepal.. and Everest

I’m sitting at Gate 11, Terminal E, waiting for my flight to Nepal, and just remembered I didn’t lock either of my checked bags. I never forget something like that. I’m a bit distracted: my head’s on the upcoming climb to Everest base camp. Everything else is packed: climbing gear, boots, trekking poles, layers and layers of clothing (base layer, mid-layers, outer shells), medicine to cover all typical ailments including altitude sickness and bronchial infections, expedition sunglasses, hats, bandanas, gloves and liners… somehow it all fit into the North Face Base Camp bag with room to spare. I filled that room with donated stuffed animals for the kids in Nepal. hopefully it will all be there when I arrive in Kathmandu!

How are the kids in Nepal? We have about 100 of them registered with Save One Life and track their progress through our program. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries, and yet it has a stellar Nepal Hemophilia Society run by people with hemophilia. For the beneficiaries of Save One Life, we check to see if they have enough income, are in school, and whether they get treatment for their hemophilia. We have many prominent sponsors in our community who fund these families.
Laurie Kelley with Youth Group, Nepal Hemophilia Society
September 2015
The country suffered a devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015; several members of the hemophilia community died. The hospital was damaged; homes left in piles of bricks. I toured the earthquake damage when I was there in September 2015, and realized in the global hemophilia community there is no emergency response protocol or team. It doesn’t happen often, but in earthquake prone areas like Nepal, it would be a good program to establish.
See my trip to Nepal 6 months after the earthquake here. 
I’m looking forward this coming week to meeting our kids again, seeing what the needs are, how they have managed. We raised funds shortly after the earthquake with the massive help of the Mary Gooley Center in Rochester, New York, to help with housing and necessities. Patrick James Lynch and his team at Believe Ltd. is coming on this trip as well to make a documentary about life in developing countries, through the eyes of Chris Bombardier, a young man with hemophilia B from Denver, Colorado, who will be the first person with hemophilia to attempt to summit Everest!
I’ll be with Chris this week as we tour homes and the hospital, and visit the earthquake areas. Then Chris, his wife Jess, photographer Rob Bradford and I all head out for Everest base camp on April 2 with renowned guide Ryan Waters of Mountain Professionals. Ryan has accompanied Chris on four of his Seven Summits. Everest will be Chris’s sixth summit… and that would leave Mt. Vinson in Antarctica.
Chris infusing on a summit!
Chris would have summited Vinson by now, but he was denied access! Why?

Because he has hemophilia–a “disability.” Huh. Chris has a few things to show the guys in Antarctica. 

Chris also has a few things to show his peers in developing countries. The mountain is a metaphor for overcoming any challenge. You can’t get anywhere in life unless you first set your sights on a summit; get the right equipment; train, train, train–success is hard work; map your route; get a guide; then go.
Waiting to see this on Everest!
Go Chris! We wish you success and safety, and everyone thanks you for your heroic efforts on behalf of people with hemophilia everywhere!
Sign up to get notifications about Chris’s historic here!

From the bottom of our hearts and hiking boots we wish to thank Octapharma for completely funding Chris’s climb, and Believe Ltd.’s documentary. While there is no amount of money that can compensate Chris for his time and personal risks, none of this adventure and effort would be possible without Octapharma’s generous support and more importantly, its belief in Chris and Save One Life. Chairman Wolfgang Marguerre has been one of Save One Life’s biggest supporter and sponsor of children with hemophilia in developing countries. He truly believes in our mission. Thank you Mr. Marguerre and all your colleagues, including Flemming Neilsen and Carl Trenz, for your help and support!

If you would like to sponsor a chid in need, visit www.SaveOneLife.net to learn more. Together we are improving lives with hemophilia…one at a time.

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