Eli’s Coming … You Better Hide Your Heart
As always, I humbly thank my fellow Babalu editors, and readers, for allowing me these bits of my personal activism on behalf of something very near and dear to my heart and soul ... Down Syndrome.
Your feel good story of the week.
While I have never been much of a fan of that whole Mount Everest fascination (I rather find it quite filled with narcissism, given the financial cost and the obvious dangers), I must admit this individual trek to that remote location in the whole wide world has me gleefully cheering...
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A teen from Bend, Ore. made the history books by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest.
Eli Reimer, 15, and his father arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to find a crowd of supporters waiting for him Tuesday night. The two returned to the states from Nepal after a successful mission to raise money and awareness for disabled children.
Eli trained for a year before he and his dad set out on a two-week, 70-mile hike to reach the Everest base camp. The altitude was 17,600 feet.
"I would say over 90 percent of the world's cultures don't accept disability and wouldn't think that somebody like my son would be able to attempt let alone complete something like this. So it was an amazing experience to do it with him. And like I said he actually led the way. We were dragging. We were experiencing our own sense of disability as we went up into the mountains and he led us all the way to base camp," described Eli's father, Justin Reimer.
Eli is the first person with Down syndrome ever to stand on that spot.
Under today's selfish idea of "perfect" human beings, an accomplishment such as this from somebody the rest of the world doesn't believe has the right to even be born is quite satisfying, to say the least.
You rock, Eli!