Mount Elbrus - Climbing for those who can't
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2 months, 5,642 metres, 17,554 USD - Dorian Breakspear-Coyle decided to conquer Mt. Elbrus and to use this challenge to help people who have sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury.
Dorian works for Cisco in the Middle East and it all began when he was asked to join a group led by one of their esteemed distribution partners (RRC) to climb Mount Elbrus; the highest peak in Europe and one of the Seven Summits. His colleague, Dmitry, had already chosen to do the climb in aid of a young lady with an extreme case of Scoliosis to raise funds for her medical care. However, thanks to his amazing hard work the funds were raised before they even climbed. "I then immediately decided that I wanted to use this climb to highlight Wings for Life, spinal cord injuries and increase awareness for a great cause." The perfect tag line for this adventure was quickly decided on; Climbing for those who can't.
A strong motivating factor before and during the ascent was his friend, Chris Khouri, who sustained a spinal cord injury in a motocross accident. He is a great inspiration for Dorian, especially because he faces so many different challenges every day and never gives up. In describing the strenuous moments of his tour, Dorian said that, "Every time I thought that I couldn't do more, the more I wouldn't accept that and pushed on. I also wanted to do it for my family".
Dorian does not describe himself as an experienced climber, but he prepared himself for the challenge by going to the gym every single day and also took part in the Wings for Life World Run. In addition, he consulted a sports doctor and also had thorough checks with a cardiologist. Once he was fully fit, Dorian set off for Moscow to meet two of his colleagues. After having checked their equipment they then flew to Mineraley Vody and from there they took the bus to the bottom of the mountain. The whole journey took 9 days, of which they spent 6 days acclimatising and climbing.
Dorian knew that the trip was going to be tough, but he did not expect that, "breathing, one of the most natural things to mankind was suddenly in extremely short supply". However, their hard efforts paid off when the group reached the top, "The feeling of elation at hitting the summit with a wonderful group of people, executing successfully against a plan is a great feeling. Being in a great team magnifies that".
Dorian not only wanted to experience an exciting adventure, but also wanted support a good cause. He put his plan into action and raised an incredible 17,554 USD. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to spinal cord injury research. His advice for all future Wings for Life fundraisers is, "Reach high and stretch yourself, I had to reset my goal because we met it quicker than I could have expected. Challenge everyone and don't be afraid to ask for help...Take lots of photos and video yourself describing your emotions, surroundings, etc. I really truly thoroughly enjoyed doing this project from start to finish and would recommend it to everyone. Just pick something and do it, for those that can't".
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