Kili 08 – Climb Without Limits
In 2008, Safari Express company was chosen from a group of company’s to be the official guide for Bonner Paddock as he embarked on the greatest challenge of his life.
Bonner was born with a disability called Cerebral Palsy. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck during birth and, as a result, he suffered brain damage. In fact, portions of his brain are permanently dead. For instance, he balances with his eyes because the part of my brain that controls his equilibrium is dead.
Here is a letter he shared with the world before his journey to climb the largest free standing mountain in the world, and one of the 7 Summits of the World, Mt. Kilimanjaro (Kili) in Africa.
Dear Friends and Family,
I am embarking on the greatest challenge of my life and I hope you will want to be part of it. I am going to climb the largest free standing mountain in the WORLD and one of the 7 Summits of the World, Mt. Kilimanjaro (Kili) in Africa. I know it may sound out right crazy, but I believe in trying to make a difference and showing what one person can accomplish even if, like me, they weren’t given “all the functions a normal person is born with”.
I was born with a disability called Cerebral Palsy. My umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck during birth and, as a result, I suffered brain damage. In fact, portions of my brain are permanently dead. For instance, I balance with my eyes because the part of my brain that controls my equilibrium is dead.
I’ve had my fair share of challenges in life but who hasn’t? I’ve never been one to make excuses or accept anything less than the best from myself. But the time has come to push the limits of my life to the furthest it has ever been. I do this for 2 reasons: 1) for showing kids with disabilities that you can accomplish more in life by continuing to push yourself and 2) to climb on behalf of all the kids that wont ever be able to do “normal” things.
I hope by doing this it will motivate everyone, that we can do a little more in our lives to help those who had no choice what disability or impairment they were dealt. I know you are busy and may be already involved with another great charity but my hope is that you will adopt my “Climb Without Limits” Expedition.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit my website I have created, with the help of UCP-OC, that goes in to all the details about my disability, my climb and the Early Childhood Center that we are going to build. My website is http://kili.ucp-oc.org
100% of the money I raise…..did you say 100%?…..YES, ALL OF THE MONEY RAISED WILL GO DIRECTLY to building a center where kids with different types of disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, autism, down syndrome, spinal bifida, etc.) will go to receive proper medical care, therapy, childcare, and will have the chance to feel just like a “normal” kid. Additionally, our entire expedition team is paying for their own way to Africa and all the expedition team’s gear, head to toe, has been donated by Oakley!!!
Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this email and visit my website. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this without the support of my friends and family.
Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you feel may be interested in learning about my climb or getting involved. I have saved a few spaces on the expedition team if you would like to come experience it first hand.
Buy the Beyond Limits DVD.
In 2009 founded the OM Foundation. OMF promotes the idea that any one person can make a difference if they dedicate themselves to look beyond their own personal limits to achieve their goals.