UP KILI ON CRUTCHES

The in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment of Tom Belz

Trail (UK) - - BASE CAMP -

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.

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