Dr Joseph Maroon to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro to Support Disabled


UPMC Neurosurgeon and Triathlete Dr Joseph Maroon to Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro With Expedition of 10 Amputees Attempt First Ever Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro

Dr Joseph Maroon, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at UPMC Presbyterian and Passavant Hospitals, will participate as medical adviser to first ever climb of Mount Kilimanjaro by 10 amputees starting February 20, 2014.  The Live Free Foundation, founded and led by triple amputee Rajesh Durbal, has organized an expedition of 10 amputees for the first ever attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro located in the east African country Tanzania.  The climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest elevation in the continent of Africa at over 19,000 ft., will start on February 20, 2014 and will be the center piece of a multi-city tour called “Freedom No Limits“.

At these events, entitled “Overcoming Attitude with Altitude”  the climbers will present inspiration lectures and athletic events at various community centers, centers for the disable, and orphanages with the message of overcoming obstacles with “attitude” whether you are physically disabled or not.  Per Rajesh Durbal, first triple amputee to finish an Ironman Triathlon in Kona, HI, “There will be an opportunity for each climber to make a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of disabled people in Africa that are often without hope and too often marginalized in their communities.”  “By seeing what we can do (climb of Mount Kilimanjaro) they may also find some strength to overcome their own adversity.”

In addition to the 10 amputee climbers there are 6 support staff and a 3 person professional media team, which is led by Sean Falconer Editor of Modern Athlete. Modern Athlete is the most popular sports magazine in South Africa.  Modern Athlete will film the climb for a documentary that will tell the story of this first expedition of amputees from various countries attempting to climb the highest mountain in Africa


The trek also includes world renowned neurosurgeon and Ironman Triathlete, Dr Joseph Maroon.  Dr Maroon was asked to join Rajesh and the other climbers to be their medical advisor. Dr. Maroon will be accompanied by his daughter, Isabella Maroon, a student at the School of the Art Institue of Chicago. They will concurrently conduct a study on the benefits of Nitric Oxide supplements to reduce the effects of high altitude sickness.  “I’m excited and inspired to participate in this historic quest”, states Dr Maroon.  “Mount Kilimanjaro is almost 4 miles high and altitude sickness can be a threat to those not accustomed to this height.”  “Right now I and Isabella are training wearing our climbing boots and a 20 pound back pack to get ready!” 

There are numerous corporate sponsors for the event providing funds to offset the cost for disabled climbers.  Individuals are also encouraged to donate to help offset the cost by logging on to http://live-free.net/For every $25 donation the donor will receive a “Live-Free” Tee shirt used to promote the Foundation.  Visit the website often to see pictures and update of the tour from February 20th to March, 10, 2014.