Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Blind hiker going for Kilimanjaro, support question

I am reaching out to all the community as an adventurer who is legally blind. I still have a bit of functional sight left but I know what I see is only a fraction of the whole picture. I have taken on adventure as my way of saying to the world and to myself that my blindness doesn't define me, it is merely a part of who I am. I live in Guatemala and will soon be married to my wonderful and supportive fiancée, Alejandra. Here in Guatemala, there are many volcanoes and I started a project called Climbing Blind (sighted friends and myself) and we have successfully completed 4 of Guatemala's 37 volcanoes, with another 2 planned in the near future This message comes as I put together an effort to move beyond the local volcano climbs to the tallest freestanding volcano in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro!

My eye disease is called Choroideremia. It is a rare, degenerative retinal disease that slowly progresses into total blindness. I started hiking volcanoes in Guatemala (where I have lived for over five years and will continue to live with Alejandra) to raise money for and awareness of the Choroideremia Research Foundation, which supports a team of fantastic doctors and scientists searching for a cure for blindness.

A unique opportunity came up the other day that combines love of hiking and the outdoors with the reality of sight loss. K2 Adventure Travel is an organization that specializes in high-altitude hikes with blind people. They have been guiding such hikes for 16 years and we were invited to participate in their June climb.

In order to realize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, our Climbing Blind crew is working together to raise $35,000. And I'd like to ask for your help! I have been in touch with different foundations and trying to be in contact with gear companies about sponsoring a bit of our climb. I thought that maybe someone in this group would share ideas, suggestions, and encouragements as far as attracting fundraisers for such an epic adventure. We are reaching out to individuals, organizations, publications, companies, and foundations to enlist their support to reach our goal. That amount covers three hikers (me and two sighted friends) and Alejandra, who will volunteer in a school and orphanage for the blind in a town at the base of Kilimanjaro. Included are all of our in-country costs, flights, and a significant donation to the Choroideremia Research Foundation.

I have a more complete write-up of our campaign, including the thank you gifts for different donation levels, for anyone interested. Aside from technical help and motivation, the international, fully-sighted Climbing Blind team members will be audibly and visually chronicling the trek for donor appreciation gifts, marketing opportunities, and promotional materials that will highlight our donors' great participation in this effort to push past boundaries to realize the full potential of the human spirit.

We would genuinely appreciate any thoughts you'd like to pass along. I have found that blindness really is a community and we're all experiencing the same challenges and joys together. I need to tap that community for this new stage in our fight for sight.

Our crowdfunding campaign is here, featuring our story and also the video of the first Climbing Blind volcano hike:

Thank you for reading this message and taking time to reply. With your help, we will continue promoting disability rights and equality and always moving closer to a cure!

Salud and cheers,

Scott and the Climbing Blind : Kilimanjaro team
Jen (Mexico), Michael (Tennessee), Alejandra and Scott (Guatemala)

There is currently 1 reply

Sort Replies Oldest to Newest

Re: Blind hiker going for Kilimanjaro, support question

Thanks for sharing and good luck on your hike and fundraising endeavors.

Shannon Carollo

Log in to Post a Reply