More than one year ago, Chris Bombardier told us, “Whatever your excuse is, it’s time to stop believing it.”
Now Bombardier is about to make history. The humanitarian from Denver, Colorado is prepared to summit Mt. Everest, becoming the first person with hemophilia to ever do so.
The expedition began from the Everest base camp on April 18th and on April 30th, his climbing team made it to Camp 3, which is 4,500 feet from the summit of the legendary Himalayan mountain. To document the historic climb, Bombardier has partnered with fellow hemophiliac, Patrick James Lynch, and his film production company, Believe Ltd. Their documentary is called, “Bombardier Blood.”
Diagnosed with severe Hemophilia B as a child could have foreshadowed a life lived on the sidelines for Bombardier, but instead, his adventurous personality won out. While this makes his love of mountaineering riskier, he always plays it smart during climbs. Playing it smart means he only climbs with a well prepared team, takes it slow, and infuses a clotting protein regularly. Regular infusions are a necessary part of managing hemophilia even when he isn’t climbing mountains.
In many parts of the world, hemophilia can be fatal if the child does not receive a proper diagnosis and timely treatment. Half of the children with severe hemophilia in developing countries die before they reach the age of 10.
Bombardier’s personal experience, and the desire to raise awareness for hemophiliacs in developing areas of the world is what inspired him to take on a Seven Summits challenge, which involves climbing the highest peak on each continent. To begin the Seven Summits, he tackled Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,341 ft.
“When I first went to Kilimanjaro I had no clue if my body could handle the elevation, or if it would be hard to infuse that high, or if I would get a bunch of bleeds on the mountain,” Bombardier said. “It was a little scary heading up there with all of those unanswered questions, but I wanted to try it.”
In contrast to Kilimanjaro, Everest is the tallest mountain in the world at an awe inspiring 29,028 feet.
On the Adventures of a Hemophiliac, Bombardier said, “As I am in the midst of climbing to the world’s highest elevation on this planet, my main concern and priority is to continue to increase awareness about hemophilia and generate love for those suffering without care across the globe.”
While climbing to help and inspire others, Bombardier and his team will still have to stay cautious and aware on the mountain.
During the dangerous accent up Mt. Everest, climbers adhere to the old mountaineer saying, “Climb high; sleep low.”
At extreme altitudes, the human body will begin to deteriorate unless it has been acclimated. In addition to the unforgiving climate and terrain at high elevations, without gradual acclamation, overzealous climbers risk altitude sickness or fatal events like high altitude strokes. To put it simply, this means taking two steps forward and one step back, slowly making elevation gains and carefully minding the condition of the body.
The gradual accent is all part of Bombardier’s plan. Already an experienced mountaineer, he has conquered five of the seven summits to date. In addition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, he has climbed Aconcagua (22,838 ft) in the South America, Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft) in Europe, Denali (20,322 ft) in North America, and most recently in April, Carstensz Pyramid (16,024ft), the highest summit in the Papua Province in Indonesia.
As he makes his accent up Mt. Everest, Bombardier’s passion for helping others remains steadfast.
On Adventures of a Hemophiliac he posted, “Please check out Save One Life, Inc. and pick someone’s life to save! Ask a friend, a family member, a colleague, a boss even! Inspire others!”
You can follow the adventure at Adventures of a Hemophiliac and to show your support, please consider donating to Save One Life, Inc. Through Save One Life, when you sponsor someone struggling with hemophilia in a developing country, 100% of your money goes to that family.