to all our friends and supporters!
We are so appreciative of all the emails and
support that we are receiving as we continue our trek. The
feedback from children, folks with disabilities and folks
without, is encouraging us to continue on our mission to make
it to the Base Camp of Mount Everest and raise awareness about
the potential of people with disabilities.
Namche Bazaar was great fun and good acclimatization,
and we were ready for the expedition to continue on. On the
early morning of our departure from Namche, the Indian-Nepali
joint Everest expedition team paid a visit to introduce themselves.
We made the short ascent out of Namche together as an enormous
team - the Indians, the Nepali and Team Everest '03!
The lovely ridge line trail was accessible
enough for our members who use wheelchairs to stroll/push/trek
for the entire day. It was history in the making at 3,400
meters (12,500ft)! We - the entire expedition team - were
moving under our own human power and human spirit, the mighty
Himalayan Mountains surrounding us as we made our way toward
our next measure of success. It was an extraordinary experience
to witness firsthand: our team physically accomplishing our
goal of raising disability awareness to the highest level!
As expedition leader, I can honestly say that this was one
of the happiest moments in all of my life.
After trekking the long hill up to Tengboche, we visited
the monastery and presented the Lama with silk scarves called
katas and made an offering of a small donation. Presented
in turn, the Lamas blessed the katas and returned them
to us to carry on our journey.
By nightfall, the sky had cleared and shone with millions
of inspirational twinkles that I felt came from all of you
In the morning we awoke to the most beautiful vista view
of Mount Everest. Many of us shared in the sense of the sacredness
of this place and our journey. It was simply amazing to be
camping on the grounds of Tengboche Monastery, the spiritual
center of the Khumbu and the Sherpa people.
some local skepticism, we have made it now to Pengboche. Tonight,
as every evening, we had a team meeting to recap the day and
discuss the challenges that lie ahead in the mountains.
Here we are in Nepal, smack in the middle
of the highest mountains in the world, imbued with the Sherpa
culture. A team
of individuals who have come together to achieve an important
goal on both an individual level, and more importantly, on
a grander scale. Though occasionally sore, we know that every
step we make is an achievement! Some of you may have experienced
that life in the mountains is not easy. We are trekking at
altitude, living and eating in tents, eating outside, and
going to the bathroom in holes (even digging accessible holes!).
We regularly dodge yak jams, cross rickety suspension bridges,
and trek trails that are difficult for even the most avid
of hikers. And it's cold! We continue to move ahead with our
group of Sherpas, our yaks, our baskets, wheelchairs, prosthetics,
hearing aids, canes and crutches! And an overwhelming desire
to succeed in the enjoyment of life.
We would not be able to succeed without working
as a team. To me, this expedition shows that in the majority
of cases, it only takes a little extra time and goodwill to
allow everyone to have equal opportunity.
hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful photographs by Erich
Schlegel, who is truly capturing the important aspects of
this expedition. Tomorrow, we trek to Pheriche (13,900ft)
and spend a few nights there for acclimatization. We've earned
I ask you as the expedition leader for your
continued support, your continued emails and your continued
good wishes. This is a win-win deal for everyone involved
- our sponsors, our personal donators and our members. We
need your support to enable us to reach deeper within ourselves
to continue with this expedition of such exceptional magnitude.
Please take a moment and try to picture for yourself our team,
in all its glory, through hard work and determination, have
made it this far and we are still moving ahead with our fantastic
team of Sherpas, our yaks, our baskets, wheelchairs, prosthetics,
hearing aids, canes, crutches and the desire to succeed in
the enjoyment of life.
I ask you for your continued support, emails and good wishes.
We need your financial support
to continue with our expedition and to allow us to do the
much needed work in the boardrooms, the capitols and the government.
This is a win-win deal for everyone involved - our company
sponsors, personal sponsors and our members. Everyone we encounter
on the trail will return to their various states and countries
with a heightened awareness of the potential of ALL PEOPLE.
Team Everest '03 is taking disability awareness to the top
of the world!
- Gary Guller
show by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning News
Questions / comments
for the team
current legislative work: Architectural Barriers
Due to architectural barriers, many people
with disabilities are prevented from entering and using areas
intended for public use. Less than 50% of new commercial construction
projects meet legal accessibility standards, effectively and
unnecessarily excluding people with disabilities. Architects
have far more training in accessibility and are more likely
to register their projects for independent review for compliance
to standards than non architects. CTD is promoting a change
in Texas law to lower the square footage of a commercial project
that would require the services of an architect from 20,000
to 5,000 sq. ft. This should improve accessibility and inclusion
of people with disabilities.
CTD 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 lives. Contact Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org
to learn more about CTD's advocacy work.