SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Spencer West, who lost his legs at the age of five, has redefined his possible by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair -- all while raising funds for international charity and youth empowerment organization Free The Children.
"I set out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro not only to redefine what's possible for me, but to inspire others to overcome obstacles and challenges of their own and to give back to communities that need our help," said West. "Reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro was the most mentally and physically challenging thing I have ever done, but in doing so, it reinforced the powerful message behind believing in myself and believing in others. So many people made this journey possible for me and I am so humbled by everyone's support."
West, along with two friends, began the eight-day trek on June 12 as part of a Redefine Possible mission to raise money to bring sustainable clean water programming to thousands of Kenyans who last year experienced the region's worst drought in 60 years. Made possible by The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, West encouraged supporters to sponsor one step in his 20,000-foot journey up the tallest mountain in Africa, raising more than $500,000 and counting.
While climbing, West kept supporters informed through daily video messages and photos on his Redefine Possible blog. Supporters, including celebrities Nelly Furtado and Nina Dobrev, posted words of encouragement and messages on how they are redefining possible on Twitter and Free The Children's We Day Facebook Page.
Spencer West was born with the genetic disorder sacral agenesis. As a result, his legs were amputated at the age of five and doctors told him he would never be a functioning member of society. Over the years, West has been redefining his own possible and inspiring thousands of youth globally to do the same. He recently published his memoir Standing Tall: My Journey and serves as a motivational speaker for Me to We, a social enterprise that offers socially conscious and environmentally friendly clothes and accessories as well as life-changing international volunteer trips.
Individuals can visit www.freethechildren.com/redefinepossible to donate and support Spencer West's Redefine Possible mission, which been made possible in part by sponsors, including the Keg Spirit Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co-op, KPMG and Research In Motion.
More From Spencer's Climb:
About Free The Children
Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in our innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, we are a charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. Our domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world. Our international projects have brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world. For additional information, please visit www.freethechildren.com.
For more information, high-res video or b-roll, or to arrange an interview with Spencer West, please contact:
Stephanie Lanari, Free The Children
T: 416.964.8942 x 827
Alexis Black, Current
SOURCE Free The Children