Raising Hope for Families with Lyme

Event Details

  • Event Date: September 27 – October 7, 2019
  • Event Location: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa
  • Amount Raised: $5,065

How you can help? Support Mike and LymeLight Foundation with each step of  his climb!

Update: Mike has postponed his trip to September 2020 to allow time to focus on his own recovery. He still managed to raise over $5,000 and we are so grateful for his giving heart!

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Mike is attempting to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on an arduous 40 mile trek reaching an altitude just over 19000’. The trip will not be easy – the elevation and cold weather will make the ascent very difficult. Mike chose the route (Mount Kilamanjaro Lemosho Route) with the highest rate of success. It is an 11-day trip which gives the body more time to acclimate than a 5-6 day trips. Additionally, altitude sickness is a huge issue which can stop the fittest of people. Mike plan to spend time in his native Colorado hiking at 8000 -14000’ to acclimate prior to leaving for Tanzania.

Mike was diagnosed with Lyme in 2010 but had health issues for at least 15 years prior to a proper diagnosis. The list of symptoms includes cardiomyopathy, blood problems, eye problems, neuropathy, neurological symptoms, and many other symptoms. He was misdiagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Mike went through a very difficult two-year treatment of heavy antibiotics which proved to be the darkest, loneliest, and most difficult time in his life. He often wondered if he would survive and if he would ever be able to do many of the things he previously took for granted.

Mike has come a long way since then but it has taken constant research, work, and determination. His life revolves around staying healthy which includes exercise, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and detoxing.  Incredibly, Mike promoted to Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu and made his 100th skydive in 2018, the year he turned 52. The road to black belt in Jiu Jitsu is a long, physically demanding journey for all. Due to Lyme, Mike has damaged soft connective tissue which made the aches and pains of training and competing much more intense. Lyme took him to the bottom but also made him the person he is today.

Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro -one the 7 Summits- is something that has appealed to Mike for years but he knew the odds of something going wrong were high. Mike decided to attempt the trek as reaching the summit would be nothing short of epic. Spreading Lyme awareness and raising funds for others suffering with Lyme while he is climbing will make this trek the ultimate test and adventure.

Mike’s Itinerary:

Day 1. Land in Moshi , Tanzania 🇹🇿 and get checked into hotel and meet group.

Day 2. Morning Trekking Walk and Orientation followed up with a nature walk.

Day 3. Climb begins in the Lemosho Glades hiking though rainforest to Forest Camp (9000 feet) 3.5 hours hiking – 4 miles- 2000 feet elevation gain.

Day 4. Hike Shira Ridge through giant heather moorland with incredible views of Kilamanjaro. Shira 1 Camp – 11, 500 feet – 5.5 hours of hiking – 5 miles – 2500 feet of elevation.

Day 5. Cross the Shira Plateau toward Kibo’s glaciated peak to Moir Hut Camp. (13,800 feet) 6 hour hike – 8 miles – 2300 feet of elevation.

Day 6. Enter the alpine desert zone before descending to Barranco Camp (13,000 feet) 6 hour hike – 5 miles – 2590’ elevation gain – 2190’ elevation loss – day to climb high sleep low for acclimating.

Day 7. Hike the rocky Barranco Wall and watch the sunset from Karanga Camp (13,106’) Hike 4.5 hours – 3 miles- 1000’ elevation gain/loss – another day to acclimate.

Day 8. Hike to Kosovo High Camp ( 15,980’) 5 hour hike- 3.5 miles- 2825’ elevation gain.

Day 9. Summit Day – by midnight the group will be climbing to Uhuru Peak ( 19,340’) which is the summit ( The roof of Africa) Then the descent to either Millennium Camp ( 12,500’) or Mweka Camp ( 10,200’) The descent is not easy and requires concentration due to the steep scree and fatigue.

Day 10. Keep descending to Mweka Gate where we receive certificates and then to lodge to eat and rest.

Day 11. Back to the states or stay for some tourism ( perfect time for photo safari and see some of Tanzania’s Beauty.

Every donation of $50 or more will be entered into a random drawing for one tandem skydiving gift certificate valued at $219.00 at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos!

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