News / Winnipeg

Canadian Spencer West to climb Kilimanjaro in wheelchair

Spencer West is in countdown mode to the most “terrifying and exciting” event of his life — climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

West, 31, an author and motivational speaker with Free the Children, is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and his message is simple.

“We have the potential to redefine what’s possible,” said West who lives and works in Toronto.

“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.”

West knows about obstacles: He lost his legs at the age of five and will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro — Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895 metres — using his wheelchair, on his hands and with the help of his two best friends and co-workers, David Johnson and Alex Meers.

“Not only is it physically challenging, it can be mentally challenging,” so who better to tackle it with than friends, said West. “Of course we want to get to the top, but if we don’t, at least we tried.”

West, who’s shared his story with thousands of kids at We Day events held across Canada, said he hopes to raise $750,000 through the trip — money that will go towards bringing sustainable clean water to Kenyans.

The trio leaves for Africa on June 9 and will begin the climb on June 12.


Free the Children’s youth-empowerment “We Day” event will be hitting more cities this year, after reaching a multimillion-dollar partnership with RBC, organizers said Monday.

The deal will facilitate the expansion of We Day to five new locations across Canada and support We Schools in Action, a program that engages students and teachers in local and global social justice.

Last year, 18,000 youth packed the Air Canada Centre in Toronto alone.

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