Heading for the heights
JORDON Milroy has proved the sky’s the limit after conquering the Sky Tower’s 1029 stairs, and now he has the Auckland Harbour Bridge in his sights.
The 23-year-old plans to climb the 45-metre tall, 1020-metrelong bridge to raise awareness as part of World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 2.
Mr Milroy was born with a severe form of the condition that affects his muscle tone, movement and motor skills.
He uses a wheelchair and walker to get around day-to-day but leaves his disability at the bottom step when he climbs, he says.
‘‘I just love pushing myself to the limit. I’m proud to have cerebral palsy and I love spreading awareness from the top of tall things.
‘‘For years people have known me as the disabled guy but now I’m known as the guy who climbs awesome things. I get to inspire people along the way and they inspire me as well.’’
The central Auckland student climbed 192 metres to the observation deck of the Sky Tower last year to raise money to send wheelchairs to Samoa where he was born, ( Auckland City Harbour News, April 4, 2012).
The wheelchairs are specially designed for rugged conditions to help those living with disabilities in Pacific Island communities.
He says reaching the top of the tower was an unreal feeling.
‘‘It was my goal for over a year and to be able to achieve it was really surreal. I used to look at the Sky Tower for about three months after and go ‘ wow I can’t believe I climbed it’.’’
There are now 15 wheelchairs on their way to Samoa thanks to his efforts.
He jumped at the chance to take on a new project when the Cerebral Palsy Society asked him to do something ‘‘epic’’ to mark the international awareness day.
He admits he has some nerves about braving the elements for the bridge climb.
But his training and can-do attitude will get him through, he says.
Mr Milroy is used to throwing himself in the deep end when it comes to his own goals.
A solo trip across the United States last summer forced the people he met to realise people with cerebral palsy can be independent.
‘‘Cerebral palsy is a good conversation starter,’’ he says.
‘‘People always want to help me but as soon as they get to know me they know I can do stuff on my own.’’
A month-long cycling trip around New Zealand is next on his list and conquering the world’s tallest building in Dubai is one of his long-term goals.
His determination and work in the community has earned Mr Milroy a spot as a youth finalist at the 2013 Attitude Awards which celebrate the achievements of disabled New Zealanders.
Awards trustee Dan Buckingham says that each year the attitude team sees people pushing themselves to achieve.
‘‘These awards are about changing perceptions,’’ Mr Buckingham says.
‘‘Everyone has gifts and abilities, it’s about how we choose to use them.’’
Winners will be announced on World Disability Day on December 3.
New heights: Jordon Milroy will climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge to raise awareness on World Cerebral Palsy Day.