|Chris climbing Denali (Mt. McKinley)
March is Hemophilia Awareness month! But you already knew that.
What you might not know is that a brave young Denver man with hemophilia is making
Chris Bombardier (don’t you just love that name? It’s like Jonny Quest or Tom Cruise—it simply implies adventure) is doing something no one with hemophilia has ever done before: summiting Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.
Why this mountain? After all, the man lives in Denver, a mile-high city. (Yes, he has that to his advantage; lots of extra red blood cells to help with altitude). Carstensz Pyramid will be Chris’s 5th mountain in his goal is to become the first person with hemophilia to climb the highest peak on each continent, aka The Seven Summits.
Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Mt. Elbrus in Russia. Mt. Aconcagua in South America, and Mt. McKinley in the US: been there, done that for Chris.
This will be his most technical climb yet–that means hard! Carstensz Pyramid is the highest mountain in Oceania standing at 16,024 feet above sea level. The mountain is in a remote area of Papua, Indonesia and the climb will involve specialized skills such as rock climbing, rappelling, and a tyrolean traverse. Chris will end the climb with a 4-5 day trek through an isolated region of the Papua jungle.
|Chris infusing on a mountain top!
And he asked me to come with him, mentioning there were a lot of leeches and snakes in those there “isolated regions.” I wanted to go, believe me. One day I will go with him (though we are now narrowed down to Antarctica and Mt. Everest. I have to remind him I am twice his age), if only to base camp.
Chris left Friday, March 6 and has just landed in Bali. He is psyched and raring to go!
You can follow him for the next three weeks on his blog: AdventuresOfAHemophiliac.com
Quick background: The Seven Summits Quest began when Chris traveled to Kenya on a work-related trip. While there, he witnessed the difficulties of those living with hemophilia in less developed regions of the world and decided he wanted to do anything he could to help. Chris declares, “Of course I look forward to standing on the summits of these incredible mountains and feeling the accomplishment of doing it with hemophilia. I want to show young people with hemophilia what’s possible. Our world is an amazing place, and I don’t want people with hemophilia to think they have to live in a bubble. I want them to get out and experience life to the fullest!” But, more importantly, Chris is committed to spreading the word about hemophilia and raising people’s awareness of the huge disparity in care that exists in the world.
And I add proudly that Chris is a board member of Save One Life, the nonprofit I founded in 2001 to help support the world’s poor with hemophilia. We have about 1,400 children and young adults
enrolled, who receive direct funding, scholarships, camp funding and microenterprise grants!
|Deepak Das of India, whose leg was amputated
last year due to an untreated bleed
And in March, Chris is going to dedicate each day to a child in need. Our goal is to get 35 more sponsored. They are waiting on our website: http://www.saveonelife.net