Shatter All Doubts, Reach Mt. Everest Base Camp!
They have achieved a goal many considered unthinkable. While
many slept soundly in their beds late Saturday night, a determined
group of people with disabilities on the other side of the
world made the final steps of an often grueling 16-day journey,
reaching Mt. Everest Base Camp at 17,500 ft.
Said Team Leader Gary Guller, I've never seen such
a determined team, fully focused on achieving this goal and
understanding the historic event that has taken place. We
are feeling the effects of altitude and the time we have been
on the trail, but we are thrilled to be here. Most folks are
not aware that only 1 in 10 people ever reach the base camp
of Mount Everest.
Team Everest 03, a benefit for the non-profit Coalition
of Texans with Disabilities (CTD), began in Austin, Texas
in January 2002 and included a host of public awareness events
and intense preparation for all members.
News of the successful trek reached Austin where Texas Governor
Rick Perry said, I applaud the members of Team Everest
for this incredible accomplishment. They stand as a reminder
to us all that each day represents a new opportunity to achieve
new goals. And limits should never be placed on the ability
of the human mind or the potential of the human spirit.
to the members of historic TE 03 at Base Camp:
43, retired military, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, arthritis
and leg paralysis, Austin, TX
44, Community Integration Specialist with quadriplegia, San
25, Web Developer with a leg amputation, San Antonio, TX
50, Human Resources Manager with severe childhood hearing
loss, Austin, TX
39, grants manager with spina bifida, Raleigh, NC
24, Retail Assoc. with paraplegia, San Marcos, TX
28, Student with paraplegia, Waco, TX
29, Speech Pathologist & Teacher, San Marcos, TX
37, Emergency Medical Technician, Bloomfield, IN
61, Ski Instructor & Clinician, Morrison, CO
48, Oxygen Technician, Silver City, NM
62, Substance Abuse Counselor, Hinsdale, MA
41, Videographer, Austin, TX
34, Asst. Videographer, Austin, TX
28, Expedition Physician, Chicago, IL
Nikki Tupesis, 28, Chicago, IL
44, Journalist, The Dallas Morning News, Tyler, TX
40, Photographer, he Dallas Morning News, Austin, TX
49, Associate Pastor, Golden, CO
Gary Scott, 44,
Expedition Co-leader, Colorado Springs, CO
36, Expedition Leader with an arm amputation, Austin, TX
Team members Gene
Rodgers, 47, a writer with quadriplegia from Austin, TX,
and Rob Rodgers,
40, a salesman with clinical depression and an anxiety disorder
from Parma Heights, Ohio, trekked to within three hours of
Base Camp before a sudden medical condition unrelated to altitude
struck Gene, forcing the brothers to head back down to Kathmandu.
Gene has been released from the hospital and he and brother
Robert are now in their hotel. Both are well and sound great!
40, with a leg amputation and Lakpa
Dorchi Sherpa, 70, with an arm amputation, Kim
Smith, 38, Advocacy Coordinator with hip dysplagia, fibromyalgia
and bipolar condition of Howe, TX and Steve
Bernstein, 59, Senior VP, Morrison, CO descended because
of altitude sickness. They will wait at Pheriche, where the
team will fly by helicopter to Kathmandu in about a week.
had to turn back from Gorak Shep for medical reasons. He is
receiving medical care in Kathmandu, recovering quickly and
plans to head back to the hills and rejoin the climbing team
in a week or so. He congratulates the entire team at Base
Camp and says how inspiring they have been to him.
Email messages to
This portion of the journey a success, Guller and a high
altitude team will attempt the summit, weather and conditions
permitting. Guller hopes to stand atop the mountain in late
May and become the first person with one arm to climb to the
29,035-foot peak. Team Itinerary
Everest '03 still needs to raise
funds to cover expedition expenses. Plans are in the works
for an April 17 fundraiser, 6-10 pm at Mother Egan's in Austin.
The event will welcome team members home and top local musicians
will play. A panel discussion with the trek team members will
be held at 10:00 am, also on April 17, at the CTD offices.
Call 512/478-3366 or Email
Contact Dennis Borel at 512/478-3366 M-F (other times
at 512/431-1656 or 512/443-6038) or firstname.lastname@example.org
for a media kit, sponsorship opportunities and to learn more
about TE '03 and the advocacy work of CTD.
show by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning News
The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities is dedicated to
ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities
to live, work, play, and participate fully in the community
of their choice. CTD has consistently delivered important
results for persons with disabilities for the past 24 years,
and needs your support to fight the discrimination that faces
individuals with disabilities in almost every aspect of their