Legally blind at 13 and confined to a wheelchair to now looking to tackle the world’s highest peak Rising to the greatest challenge
MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer Bobby Bajram will step up his preparations for climbing Mt Everest during the Falls Creek winter.
The Falls Creek Resort ambassador will look to summit the world’s highest mountain next year and only after attempting to reach the South Col, just below Mt Everest in September.
Bajram is hoping to be the first MS sufferer to summit the monster mountain.
His story has been one of constant challenges.
Bajram is the youngest person to be diagnosed with MS in Australia.
At the age of 13 he was legally blind and in a wheelchair.
After spending five years in and out of blindness, he spent a further nine years intermittently confined to a wheelchair and for the rest of his life will rely on a walking stick during the ongoing relapses of MS.
Now Bajram has 60-70 per cent of his vision and has his weight down to 81kg after at one stage weighing almost double that.
He has been visiting Falls Creek during the summer and winter months over the past three years to train for his epic trip.
“Falls Creek terrain and altitude is the ideal location for me to prepare for my treks,” he said.
“The employees and locals are really welcoming and are like family.”
Falls Creek Resort Management chief executive Stuart Smythe said Bajram had been appointed an honorary ambassador for the resort.
“This will help him share his story and more importantly to assist him with his altitude training in the lead up to his assault on Everest,” he said.
“Bobby has an indomitable spirit, one that has seen him deal with the challenges of MS on a daily basis. His focus and energy on showing others how this disease is not an impediment to conquering your dreams is inspirational, to all.
“Falls Creek is proud to be able to assist Bobby in his training. It is a ‘whole of mountain’ effort, with many local businesses, volunteers and the general public supporting and encouraging him.
“Sir Edmund Hillary said ‘it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves’ … Bobby has proven his ability to conquer adversity in the form of MS. He is now setting his ambition a little bit higher.”
Falls Creek Resort Management’s Jo Prothero said in order to take his training up a step, in preparation for his trip to the South Col in September, Disabled Wintersport Australia volunteers will be offering guided support when Bajram was in Falls Creek training.
“The volunteers will trek with Bobby over the coming months to provide support and ensure he is in the best shape possible to take on his next challenge,” she said.
“In October 2015, Bobby took on Mera Peak, at 6461m this is the next of the smaller Nepal Himalaya peaks, and has previously climbed Kala Patthar.
“All going to plan Bobby plans to summit Mt Everest in 2017.”
Prothero said Bajram had set himself the task of reaching the peak of Mt Everest to show that the disease does not rule his life and also to raise disability awareness and encourage those with disabilities to take action in order to improve themselves.
“Bobby’s quest is to raise awareness and funds for people with disabilities and their careers,” she said.
“Importantly Bobby wants to show that Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t rule his life and to encourage others with disabilities to take action in order to improve their quality of life.
“He also aims to put together a $100 million trust fund for people with disabilities and various support groups to give them the assistance and care they regularly need.”