Three years ago, Chris Waddell ’87 accomplished something incredible: he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet. What makes his feat even more incredible is that Mr. Waddell is paralyzed from the waist down, and he completed his climb unassisted, using an All-Terrain handcycle.
Inspired by Mr. Waddell’s story, this summer Deerfield senior Ben Turner ’13 climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to support One Revolution, Mr. Waddell’s foundation that aims to change the way the world sees people with disabilities. Ben learned about Mr. Waddell while at Deerfield and felt a connection with him based in part on their interest in skiing and outdoor activities. After meeting with Mr. Waddell, he decided to use his climb as an opportunity to help One Revolution.
“The challenges of the climb are negligible when measured against the daily challenges disabled people must face,” Ben wrote on his climb blog. “My climb is marked in days, but the struggles of those who can’t work, or have other disabilities, are measured in years and lifetimes.” Ben spent five weeks in Africa this summer, doing community service and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
As a result of his climb, Ben raised over $100,000 for Mobility Care in Tanzania, One Revolution’s outreach program that provides wheelchairs and handcycles to people with disabilities.
Visit bensclimb.com for more about Ben’s climb.
Read Deerfield Magazine’s interview with Chris Waddell in the Winter 2010 issue.