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Eli Reimer, 15, with Down Syndrome reaches Mt. Everest base camp

By JohnThomas Didymus     Apr 1, 2013 in Lifestyle
Eli Reimer, 15, with Down Syndrome reached the Nepal base camp of Mt. Everest earlier this month. Eli of Bend, Oregon, may be the first US teen with Down syndrome to climb to one of the base camps on the world’s highest mountain.
He ascended to a height of 17,600 feet in nearly two weeks of arduous trek.
Time reports he accomplished the feat with a team of seven climbers, including his father Justin Reimer, to raise raise money for the disabled through the family's charity, The Elisha Foundation.
Mount Everest has two base camps: the lower one called the North Base Camp at 16,900 feet is in Tibet, China. The other base in Nepal at a height of nearly 17,600 feet is called the South Base Camp. Eli and his father climbed up to the South Base camp in Nepal, a challenging task even for those who are physically fit.
NY Daily News reports Eli made the climb after 10 days during which he covered 70 miles.
Justin said he and his son made the climb to prove that disability is not a limitation. He said: "For anybody who has a child with a disability or who is impacted in some way... the disability is not a limitation... and the lives of those with disabilities have infinite worth."
He told HLNTV in an interview: "It was surreal. To be standing there at that place and see the smile on Eli’s face and the sense of accomplishment that he had, and the fact that his health was better than any of us at that point... it was humbling, it was inspiring, just an amazing moment."
According to Justin, watching his son reach base camp was a "humbling, inspiring, amazing moment."
Time Magazine reports that at least one other person with Down's Syndrome, a 35-year-old man for the UK, has reached the base camp.
According to People Magazine, Justin said that his son led the group along the way. The proud father said: "He was actually leading us on the trail and we were the ones feeling our own sense of disability. It was no big deal to him, the rest of us were sucking wind."
Eli said he did not find the climb difficult. Justin explained: "We monitored his blood (saturation), oxygen saturation levels as we went up (the mountain). And his were consistently, significantly higher than everyone else’s..."
Eli and his father arrived at L.A. International Airport on Friday, March 22, after the World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, WBTV reports. They were met on arrival by supporters.
Eli and Justin reportedly raised $85,000 in donations for the family's The Elisha Foundation.
More about Down syndrome, Eli reimer, Jusitn Reimer, Mount everest, Mount Everest base camp
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