A couple of 100 Milers will climb Africa’s highest mountain in Africa in 2020.
“It was never on my bucket list. A lot of people think that for this type of climb it’s on your bucket list,” said Lory Fry, one of the climbers climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. “It was upon invitation. It started out early this year. In January, I received a call from a colleague in the blind community from Nova Scotia inviting me to the endeavour.”
The plans were still informal and details weren’t finalized but the seed was planted in her mind, and when the official invite came in the early part of summer, she accepted.
“The reasons for my acceptance is not only because of what I said in the announcement of using the year 2020 as an excellent tool to help educate others on the topic of vision, vision loss, blindness and all of its related challenges and issues. That’s where it started.”
Fry is part of CCB Team Limitless, a group of people who are either blind or live with low vision, and their sighted guides. Jim Vinson, another person from the South Cariboo, is also involved in the climb. Collectively, the team of visually challenged participants are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to demonstrate their ability to overcome adversities and display empowerment over vision loss and blindness.
“Being able to help educate others and the real bonus was to be able to help inspire our youth in general, and in society, the youth are our future and blind youth are valuable parts of that future and have lots to contribute.”
Fry did say she had personal reasons to also climb Africa’s tallest summit. She has lived with vision loss throughout her lifetime but she says she still has a fear of blindness, and the thought of losing her independence to total blindness is a big fear.
“This trek is a therapeutic mission for me in that regard. It’s a distraction from focusing on losing my sight entirely,” she said.
She added that it’s an opportunity to see the spectacular sights, which she said could be the last time she can have the opportunity to do so.
Fry has also created a GoFundMe page for the endeavour, with a goal of $30,000. People can donate to their cause at https://www.gofundme.com/f/h6mpn4-no-sight-no-problem-the-blind-mount-kili-climb. Their progress can also be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blindclimbkili/.
Both Fry and Vinson have been heavily involved in the blind community of 100 Mile House and the White Cane Club.