Climbing Blind : Kilimanjaro

When I was 19, I learned some harsh truth...that I have a disease in my eyes that has slowly degenerated my retinas to the point where now, at 42, I am legally blind and the progression continues. There is currently no cure or treatment available for this very rare disease, called choroideremia, but there is real hope that something is on the way! There are teams of extremely talented scientists and doctors around the world working to end blindness diseases, and research into choroideremia has advanced optimistically in the last years. 

As more of my sight has slipped away, I have become increasingly less able to wait for a cure. To contribute in the way I can to the research that I hope one day to benefit from, I started climbing volcanoes in my home, Guatemala (the video is of our first Climbing Blind adventure, Acatenando). Raising awareness is as important as raising money but the donations help to guarantee that research can continue. So, after a number of volcanoes in Guatemala, a group of three amigos has turned to the highest summit on the African continent, Mount Kilimanjaro! 

Michael Rhodes and I will depart from our homes on September 24 to spend seven days and six nights climbing Kilimanjaro. This climb is all about teamwork, encouragement, and understanding and, together, we will stand at the summit!

Why are we doing this? We share the core belief that our challenges don't define us. They are part of us, but they shouldn't hold us back from what we know is possible. We go into this with full hearts and big inspiration and your generosity helps us every step of the way. We will be climbing with a company called Team Kilimanjaro and taking the TK Rangai route. We have an extended team of porters and guides, and I will have a personal porter with me to navigate the ups and downs (an effect of choroideremia is loss of depth perception). Team Kilimanjaro is widely regarded as one of the most professional outfits on the mountain with the best gear around. 

Your donation will go to the Choroideremia Research Foundation, which identifies and funds much of the current work going on around the world.  Every donation is very much appreciated and you can donate whatever you feel comfortable with. Like our climb, every bit is a step closer to our goal. We did create two special donation levels for which there are thank you gifts, which are described to the side.

You can learn more about the CRF at This is an excellent, supportive community of those affected and their families and loved ones who are all fighting together for a brighter future. From all of us involved with the CRF, we genuinely appreciate your help!

Donations (27)

  • Lynne Yoch
    • $100 
    • 5 yrs


Scott Garrison
Branford, CT

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