Mt Kilimanjaro
5633 meters ( 18,480 feet)

Benefiting the Charles Bruneau Children’s Cancer Center

On January 10, 2008, I returned for a second time to climb Africa’s highest peak: Mount Kilimanjaro. This time, it would be to benefit another children’s foundation that I hold dear: The Charles Bruneau Children’s Cancer Center. When the Foundation approached me, a mere one week after returning from my first climb (see Kilimanjaro 2007 Blog), I must admit that I was quite hesitant. The thought of replicating the extraordinary adventure I just had with 30 climbers, didn’t sit right with me; trying to chase after a similar dream so to speak… But after some reflection, I came to realize that to offer once again 3 weeks of my life in exchange for helping save the lives of kids with cancer, well, that became an easy trade!

So once again, I helped prepare and accompanied 33 climbers to go live their dream of climbing Kilimanjaro. In return, we would collectively raise funds so that the dreams of children with cancer could also come true; their right to stay! This expedition was particularly special in that we had several climbers (parents) having children with Leukemia. Some children surviving the cancer and some that sadly did not. The expedition was once again a tremendous success, with 29 climbers making it to the summit, and in very harsh weather conditions! This was a summit day where few normally make it to the top. This was a climbing day that would last 16 hours (in a snowstorm) instead of 6 hours. A day where the climbers had to dig deep inside themselves to find the inspiration and dedication to go on.

We had hoped for that tremendous view at the summit, as we had seen in countless photos. But our visibility on summit day was non existent. And I know that it didn’t matter at all to anyone of the climbers. We had climbed together, as one, and for the same purpose. We had a memorable experience, one to last a lifetime!

And, to every climber’s pride, we raised an astounding $500,000 for the Foundation.

For me, I learned that I had plenty of room in my heart to live this climb once again, with 33 extraordinary climbers. I got to share some very powerful moments with several wonderful people.

Enjoy the photos. Most of these photos were taken by one of our climbers: Patrick Montpetit. Thanks Patrick for sharing.

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