Waddell Summit Update, 9/23

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Chris Waddell was the subject of a recent CBS Evening News story. He's attempting to become the first paraplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. His blog below was submitted Sept. 23, 2009.

We've dubbed the new vehicle Kubwa, which means huge or really huge in Swahili depending on inflection. I'd hoped to call it son of a bomba, but no one else seemed to see the humor as much as I did, and "huge" really seems appropriate for this vehicle with its wheels straight out of a monster truck rally.

We've just left Mobility Care, which will manufacture our donated wheelchairs. After the climb we'll meet the first three wheelchair recipients. To me, this is as exciting as our climb of Kili, for which we're now driving to the Marangu Hotel for an early morning start.

Waddell's Summit Update, Late 9/21
Waddell's Summit Update 9/21
See Karen Brown's profile of Chris Waddell
Read Karen Brown's Blog

I don't think that I'm a typical wheelchair user. It's funny that my life didn't take an obvious turn after my accident--whatever that means. I realize that I'm a participant in not taking an obvious path, but I'm also the product of some great opportunities.

Many people aided me from doctors, nurses, family, friends, and total strangers. We just never know what twists and turns our lives will take. With our Mobilty Care relationship and with the climb and documentary film I hope that we can provide some twists and turns for people who'd long ago assumed an obvious straight path.

As I lay in bed last night unable to sleep with anticipation, I wondered how I could find that quiet place that would allow me to rest, to relax, and to nod off.

I wondered if it was a person, a memory, maybe just counting backwards from 1000 by 3's. Nothing soothed the disquiet, until I thought, I need help. Ease finally came.

As my friend Nate, our doctor on the trip, and resident Kubwa said, "If you
don't ask for help, we don't have a purpose."