A satellite phone SMS brought ground-breaking news on Thursday, the 3rd of September. “We made it!” it read, confirming that the first female quadriplegic, a South African woman named Chaeli Mycroft, summited the daunting Mount Kilimanjaro with six other South African climbers.
With the constant threat of altitude sickness, below-freezing temperatures and the grueling physical challenge of the summit, any able-bodied climber already has quite a task on their hands when choosing to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro. To do so, in a specially designed “mountain wheelchair” make Mycroft an incredible inspiring individual.
The team’s progress was tracked throughout the trek on a microsite, which provided a real-time account of the challenges and highlights faced by the team. On the morning of Chaeli’s summit, her mother, Zelda Microft states that “we simply couldn’t take our eyes off the little red dots on the tracking map.”
As if it weren’t enough of an achievement to have reached the summit of this formidable mountain, Chaeli did the climb for a good cause. She chose to take on Africa’s tallest mountain in order to raise funds for The Chaeli Campaign’s Inclusive Education Programme and the Chaeli Cottage Inclusive Pre-School and Enrichment Centre.
An added initiative for Chaeli’s choice to climb Mount Kilimanjaro was her eagerness to show the world how important it is to work together. By doing so, Chaeli wanted to show that anyone can achieve anything, even the most seemingly impossible goals, and that anyone can overcome their limitations – including physical disabilities – in order to achieve their dreams.
If you’d like to find out more about Chaeli and The Chaeli Campaign, an non-profit organization which aims to provide services to children with disabilities, you can do so here.
If you’ve ever desired to climb it yourself, why not consider looking at our Machame Route Kilimanjaro