Free The Children

Free The Children

April 19, 2012 10:01 ET

Man Who Lost Legs is Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to Raise $750,000 for Free The Children

Spencer West is Set to Redefine Possible and Inspire Others to Do the Same

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Camping trips, lounging by the pool and sport leagues are great summer activities. But what else will Canadians be doing this summer to challenge themselves and create memories that will last a lifetime? Me to We motivational speaker and author, Spencer West, who at the age of five lost his legs, is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro - the tallest mountain in Africa - as part of his new Redefine Possible mission, while raising money for international charity, Free The Children.

As part of this journey, West is calling on individuals around the world to join him and rethink their impossible - whether that means tackling a difficult project, travelling half way around the world on a unique adventure, or overcoming a personal obstacle.

"We have the capacity to redefine the limits of our own potential," said Spencer West, Me to We motivational speaker and author. "That's why, with my new Redefine Possible mission, I'm using my story and challenges to inspire others to overcome obstacles and get involved in whatever they are passionate about. Just like my parents saw the potential in me, I see the potential in all of us."

West, along with his two best friends, will begin the eight-day trek in mid-June 2012. By tackling the mountain, Spencer's goal is to raise $750,000 for Free The Children, bringing sustainable clean water programming to 18,500 Kenyans, who last year experienced the region's worst drought in 60 years. He is encouraging supporters to donate $10, sponsoring one step in his 20,000-step journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro, helping him to reach his donation goal.

Throughout Spencer's climb, people can visit Redefine Possible to donate, connect with Spencer and follow along in his journey. The interactive site is the Redefine Possible headquarters, inspiring individuals around the world to pursue positive change in their lives and the lives of others. Receive live updates from Spencer on his training, progress and thoughts up the mountain; view inspiring videos and photos; and through social media and the #RedefinePossible hashtag, share stories on how you plan to redefine possible this summer.

Interesting facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro and Spencer's climb:

  • Spencer will tackle not only the highest mountain in Africa, but one of the biggest volcanoes on Earth and the tallest freestanding mountain rise in the world
  • Spencer will endure a climatic world tour: the ascent of the slopes of Kilimanjaro is one of the few places on Earth that contains virtually every ecosystem - glacier, snowfields, deserts, alpine moorland, savannah and tropical jungle
  • Every year 20,000 to 35,000 people attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Approximately 50 per cent of trekkers successfully reach its peak. Spencer will undertake the climb in his wheelchair, on his hands and with his friends
  • A film crew will be travelling with Spencer to document the journey

About Spencer West

Despite losing his legs at the age of five, the inspirational and charismatic Spencer West hasn't let anything stand in his way. As a Me to We motivational speaker and author, Spencer has travelled the world sharing his humour, humility and message of triumph with millions of people.

With every speech, Spencer leaves an indelible mark on his audience, instilling hope so that they, too, can inspire others to create positive change. Since he began speaking, Spencer has reached millions of people including students, educators, corporations, college/universities, faith-based groups and families with his encouraging words. He captivated audiences of tens of thousands at We Day events with his keynote address, and has shared the stage with such influential people as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, Mia Farrow, and his musical idol Jason Mraz.

In 2008, Spencer travelled to Kenya on an international volunteer trip with Me to We and helped build a school in a rural and improvised community in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya. He credits this experience for helping him recognize his true calling - to motivate and inspire people around the world.

Read Spencer West's inspiring life story in his recently released memoir, Standing Tall: My Journey, and wear the Redefine Your Possible T-shirt, designed by Spencer himself with Me to We Style, with a portion of the proceeds supporting his climb.

About Free The Children

Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in our innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, we are a charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. Our domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world. Our international projects have brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world.

Free The Children has a proven track record of success. The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (also known as the Children's Nobel Prize), the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For additional information, please visit www.freethechildren.com.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120419-Spencer-RedefineLRG.jpg

Contact Information

  • For more information or to speak to Spencer West,
    please contact: Stephanie Lanari
    Free The Children
    PR Co-ordinator
    416-925-5894 x 827
    Stephanie@freethechildren.com