Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Teenager with Crohn's Disease Sets Sights on Kilimanjaro
A Canadian teenager is preparing to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against Crohn's Disease, something he is personally afflicted with. Sixteen year old Clinton Shard, who lives in British Columbia, will depart for Tanzania on Sept. 5th, where he'll begin his adventure.
Clinton was first diagnosed with Crohn's when he was 12 years old, but over the past few years he, and his doctors, have learned to manage the disease. Crohn's causes an inflammatory reaction in the intestines that can cause issues throughout the digestive tract, and the rest of the body as well. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or weight loss, as well as skin rashes, arthritis, and more.
Clinton will be climbing as part of a six-person team led by Rob Hill, who also suffers from Crohn's. Hill, who is an avid outdoorsman, triathlete, and adventure racer, founded an organization called the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society, and any funds raised by the teams efforts will go to support that organization. The team is taking donations to the cause here.
At 19,390 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, and the tallest free standing mountain in the world. While not a technical climb, it is a long, and challenging trek, with altitude being the most difficult aspect for most visitors to deal with. The article doesn't say which route the team will take to the top, but there are several and they vary a bit in difficulty.
Thanks to Rick McCharles from Best Hike for reminding me of this story. If you want to be really jealous, check out Rick's most recent posts to the Best Hike Blog, where he's been recounting the tales of his adventures as he hikes and climbs his way across Europe this summer. (Yes, I'm jealous Rick!)