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Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in my wheelchair

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I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds to support the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF) and The Inspire Foundation. I will become the first tetraplegic to reach the summit. Please donate to support me in achieving this mammoth challenge.

In the summer of 2009 while staying in Kenya with my military parents, who were working there at the time I first saw the Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro across the Tanzanian border. Aged 17, I decided that one day I would climb the mountain. Little did I know that a few months later I would never walk again. Kenya would also be the last place my parents ever saw me take a step.

In October 2009, I broke my neck while playing a game of rugby for my school. This left me paralysed from the chest down with no feeling or movement, weakened arms and no use of my fingers. I now use a wheelchair full time and need the help of a 24hr carer to live my life.

I thought then that my life was over, let alone even considered climbing a mountain. But now 13 years on I have realised I should complete the mission I set out before my injury even if the challenge is now far greater.

For more understanding of my injury I have a video where I recently returned to the place I broke my neck:

Mount Kilimanjaro is the largest mountain in Africa and the largest freestanding mountain in the world (it sits alone and not in a set of peaks). It will take us 9 days to complete the trip, battling not only the climb but also altitude & freezing conditions. These are especially tough as my injury means I have weakened lungs and struggle to regulate my temperature. I aim to push where I can but due to my limitations will heavily rely on my support crew to help me climb.

I want this trip to make a difference so am raising money for the 2 charities.

The Inspire foundation are a charity I truly believe in and hence recently became a patron for. They research into spinal cord paralysis. In particular they are interested in the ‘here and now’ issues and how they can exploit the latest technology to facilitate quality of life measures for those living with tetraplegia and paraplegia. The project they support will make a massive difference to the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries.

You can find out more about Inspire here:

The IPF charity made such a difference to my recovery and life, helping me in many ways from emotional and financial support, to doing trips to encourage getting back to an active life. They are a lifeline to many people catastrophically injured playing rugby and are are worthy cause. They have looked after many of my acquaintances so well, including 2 of my close friends and support network, Gary Evans & Russell Clark, who sadly passed away this year and whom I want to honour on the trip.

Find out more about the IPF here: .

Due to my injury there are additional costs that a normal person wouldn’t incur undertaking this challenge. To help me reach the summit I’ll need:
A specialised chair.
A carer fit enough to complete the challenge with me.
A support team.
Extra porters.
To help me achieve this challenge I’ll be using some of the funds raised to cover these costs, which I estimate will come to approx £9,000. However, I am exploring other ways to secure the above to give the maximum possible to the charity. I will keep everyone updated on this as it progresses, and if you’re able to help with securing the above please get in touch.

In preparation I have been training 5 days a week around my 30 hour work week, as well as following a strict diet. I have so far lost 5kg in 4 months and am working on building my strength and aerobic capacity. I am halfway to my weight goal of 62kg but nowhere near strong enough yet.

I will be documenting my journey through my YouTube channel here:

Given the challenge for me is so tough I have set a very ambitious donation goal. Please help me smash it.


  • Anonymous
    • £35 
    • 3 d
  • Justin Barnard
    • £10 
    • 4 d
  • Philip Powell
    • £50 
    • 7 d
  • Kevin Johnson
    • £25 
    • 8 d
  • Ben Carey
    • £20 
    • 10 d


Max Levene

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