What are you doing this for?
Phil Berenz, one of the founders of Climb for Cerebral Palsy, was diagnosed with the CP at 18 months old. Thanks to great treatment and services, has become one of very few people with this disorder to ever summit Kilimanjaro unassisted. Phil is taking this chance to give back and help others embrace adventure and push their own limits.
Why Mount Kilimanjaro?
We knew Kilimanjaro would push our team’s limits. Phil Berenz has cerebral palsy, so his reaching the summit was a challenge — it is a tough climb for anyone. Only a few people with cerebral palsy have successfully reached the summit unassisted. Bonner Paddock was the first in 2009. Phil’s goal is to show that this monumental task can be achieved by more than one person, and that living life without limits is absolutely possible.
Why United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston?
We climb for those who can’t. United Cerebral Palsy embodies everything our climb stands for: For more than 60 years, United Cerebral Palsy has been providing programs and services for people with disabilities and their families. Their mission is to advance the independence, full citizenship, and productivity of people with disabilities. We also wanted to select an organization that helps local communities throughout Boston, so we believe UCP of MetroBoston is a perfect fit.
Since there are three of us that started this project, raising $10,000 each is a great start. Now that we’ve expanded our team, we have an even greater chance of reaching our goal. Our vision has no limits, but there has to be a starting point. The more money donated to UCP of MetroBoston means that many more people will receive help necessary to live more independent lives. A world without limits starts locally and grows from there.
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes! All donations go directly to United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston, a registered 501(c)3, so all donations are tax deductible.
How tall is Mount Kilimanjaro?
Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain at 19,341 feet above sea level.
How long did the trek take?
The entire hike from base camp to summit takes seven days. Five days up and two days down. Many treks take only four days to the summit, but we added an additional day to acclimatize and increase our chances of making it to the summit without succumbing to altitude sickness (it worked!).
What did you do to prepare for the climb?
We stepped up our normal exercise routines to focus on cardio and leg strengthening (especially for Phil). Running/walking up stairs is an important addition to build leg muscles and strengthen the cardiovascular system to prepare for the lack of oxygen towards the summit. Additionally, we traveled to Colorado and hiked a 14,000 ft mountain to test our bodies performance at high altitude.
When was the climb?
We reached Africa’s highest point at 7:04 a.m. on February 14th, 2013.