UP KILI ON CRUTCHES
The incredible achievement of Tom Belz
At the age of eight, Tom Belz was diagnosed with bone cancer. Despite intensive chemotherapy, his left leg had to be amputated. Declining the use of a prosthetic limb, Tom has spent his life since getting about on one leg and crutches. This led to many obstacles being put in his way regarding what would, and would not, be possible for him.
But in August this year, the 31-year-old teacher from Offenbach am Main in Germany proved the naysayers wrong by scaling Kilimanjaro – at 5895m the highest peak in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, and one of the globe’s Seven Summits.
“It’s unbelievable! When I reached the summit, I felt completely overwhelmed and amazingly proud! The climb was a great physical and mental challenge. When I actually achieved it, I simply felt happy – and extremely exhausted. By climbing Kilimanjaro, I want to prove that a physical impairment does not necessarily need to be a disability.”
A film of Tom’s remarkable climb will feature in the upcoming European Outdoor Film Tour. Titled The strong goat - Mbuzi Dume, it documents the challenges Tom faced along the way, the limits he was pushed to, and how he overcame them all to achieve his goal.