Leadership: The First Unassisted Paraplegic to Summit Mt Kilimanjaro

Think about using only your arms to crank 528,000 revolutions of your pedals to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro! 

Click to watch the video and participate in helping Chris to reach his dream.

While this blog is usually focused on pharma, healthcare 2.0 and consumer marketing…Today, I’m writing to help out a friend, Chris Waddell, who is undertaking a project to help countless other disabled people [estimated at 600 million globally and nearly 1 in 10]. Chris is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the plight, and potential, of the global disabled community.  He is seeking contributions to fund both his climb and the making of a documentary about his climb.  What makes Chris’s undertaking and leadership so compelling is that he himself is a paraplegic.  [Learn more about Project One Revolution]

“I’m climbing this mountain and making this film because the world doesn’t see me and other people like me. It doesn’t see our potential–only our limitations…The climb is a metaphor for my efforts to bring visibility to the disabled of the world, particularly the disabled in developing countries like Tanzania, where they are hidden away–living shortened lives of darkness and isolation, and all because  their culture believes they are cursed, that they are useless…”, says Chris.

Despite being a promising young ski racer at college, Chris broke his back in a freak ski accident twenty years ago, but did not let this slow him down.  He went on to revolutionize the sport of monoskiing and become the most decorated male skier in Paralympian history, winning thirteen medals, including five gold medals.  Outside Magazine asked, “Could [Chris] be the World’s Greatest Athlete?”  Skiing has named Chris one of “The 25 Greatest Skiers in North America”.  All this without the use of his legs. [Having skiied with Chris last year, I can tell you, he’s pretty amazing to watch, and faster than a speeding bullet…As much as my 12 year old and I tried, we could not come close to keeping up with Chris…]

Chris’ athletic accomplishments are matched by his commitment to help the disabled and motivate individuals to rise to their full potential.

Please check out the One Revolution link to learn more about the Mt. Kilimanjaro project and how you can be part of it.  Please feel free to help spread the word if Chris’ story and work is moving to you…Many thanks…

Good health and spirit,
Ellen and family

P.S.  You can also read about Chris and Sarah Will, two of the greatest Paralympic athletes in the world, who have signed on to participate in the Kelly Brush Century Ride on Sept 12th in Vermont to raise money to buy adaptive sports equipment for others with spinal cord injury.