James Bottger told his daughter, Charlotte — who has cerebral palsy and can’t walk — that he would “climb Everest for [her]” to help her walk. And today, he began doing just that.
James needs £60,000 (about $93,000) to pay for a procedure in the United States that would help his daughter eventually be able to walk. So far, he’s raised about £37,000, according to the Gloucester Citizen. He hopes to raise another £20,000 with his “Everest” climb this weekend.
Mr. Bottger isn’t actually climbing Mt. Everest – that would be impossible. Instead, he’s climbing the equivalent: Robinswood Hill in Gloucester, according to ITV.
By now, you may be noticing a slight problem: Robinswood Hill is about 393 feet tall. Mt. Everest, by comparison, is about 29,000 feet tall. To make up the difference, Mr. Bottger, who admits that he is “unfit,” will climb the hill 75 times.
His wife, Kate, says that James would do anything for his daughter.
“It is just unbelievable; I can’t believe the depth of love he has for his family and he will do anything for whatever she needs. Whether it is getting her on a bouncy castle or getting her to America for an operation, he will do everything in his power to make sure that she has the best. This is just crazy, nuts but he adores his little girl. He will either do it or be carried off that hill – there will be no giving up.”
Despite the fact that Robinswood is a small hill in England and not a deadly peak in the Himilayas, James’ “Everest” ascent won’t be without its difficulties. His friend, Jamie McDonald, who himself has raised money via physical endurance (running 5,000 miles across Canada), explains what the Everest-equivalent ascent will do to him.
“I think for an everyday bloke like James I think this is way beyond his capability; he knows that, is feeling that and I have spent the last week with him and he has been petrified, but that is when you know you are doing something special. He will go up and down that hill 75 times and the terrain is absolutely dreadful. The hardest part will be coming down and it will be brutal on his joints and ligaments.”
James’ “Everest” ascent began today at 10 a.a. Gloucestershire time. He’s begun posting a selfie at every summit, with the hashtag #DreamToWalk.
As of this post, James has made seven of the 75 ascents he needs to conquer “Everest.”
[Images courtesy of: The Gloucester Citizen, Roger Smith]