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Sponsor First All Amputee Team to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro 

Chris Stamm


Team Missing Parts in Action, Comprised of Three American Service Men Injured in Combat, Tackle 19,340 Foot Climb to Raise Awareness and Inspire Athletes with Disabilities


Rockville, MD—July 26, 2010— Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), one of the largest sporting organizations for people with physical disabilities, in partnership with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, announced it is sponsoring Team Missing Parts in Action’s climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa on August 2.

The three climbers are from three wars: Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam. Two are double leg amputees and one a single above knee amputee, leaving literally "one good leg between the three" to climb the tallest mountain in Africa. Sgt. Neil Duncan, 27-years-old, a double leg amputee injured in Afghanistan; Staff Sgt. Dan Nevins, 39-years-old, a double below knee amputee injured in Iraq; and Sgt. Kirk Bauer, JD, 62-years-old, a single above knee amputee injured in Vietnam comprise the team.


Team Missing Parts in Action is part of DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports Series, a schedule of challenge events that help military service members with permanent disabilities, such as amputated limbs, spinal cord injury, visual impairment or traumatic brain injury, train for and challenge themselves in extreme and endurance sports.


“After serving thousands of severely injured service members from Iraq and Afghanistan through rehabilitation sports programs for the past seven years, our disabled veterans are now yearning for an opportunity to test their skills to the extreme, as they did in the military," said DSUSA Executive Director Kirk Bauer, JD. "Our Warfighter Sports Series provides this. They can now literally climb the tallest mountains in the world to challenge themselves and inspire others with disabilities to become active and reach new heights.”


“In 2009, I attempted a solo climb of Kilimanjaro but failed to reach the summit," said Sgt. Duncan. "Since coming off the mountain, I was determined to achieve my goal and trained diligently to prepare for this climb. As a team, I know we can make it. For me this is about more than climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, it is about proving to myself, and others with disabilities, that DSUSA's motto works, "If I can do this, I can do anything!”


Guided by Nickson Moshi, the climb will begin on August 2 and the team plans to ascend and descend the mountain in ten days or less. Moshi, owner of Massai Giraffe Safari, previously led blind climber Erik Weihenmayer up Mt. Kilimanjaro.


“I’m very impressed by the upcoming DSUSA Kilimanjaro climb comprising an all wounded warrior team of leg amputees,” said Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind climber to summit Mt. Everest. “This climb is an important part of the rehabilitation process, sends a powerful message to the world about what is possible, and is a dramatic symbol of climbing to new heights and making an impact in the world after life-changing injuries.”


“Challenged Athletes Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals with physical challenges who desire to live active, competitive lifestyles by giving them every opportunity to compete in the sports they love,” said Nico Marcolongo, CAF Operation Rebound Program Manager. “We see our partnership with Disabled Sports USA in the Warfighter Sports Series as empowering our wounded warriors to live out their love of sport and competition.”


You can follow Team Missing Parts in Action’s progress, view photos and make donations to the organization at www.warfightersports.org. Also a Facebook Causes page has been set up at http://www.causes.com/causes/508185?recruiter_id=112559622 for support and donations.


The event will be chronicled by award-winning photographer Reed Hoffman, through a grant from Microsoft Imaging. Another key supporter of the climb is Health Net, a medical services provider.
 

Other Corporations and Foundations that have provided substantial funding to help Disabled Sports USA provide much needed sports rehabilitation programs for severely injured service members are: U.S. Paralympics, DSUSA National Partner; The Hartford Insurance, Ariel Corporation, The Chart Group, Non Commissioned Officers Association National Defense Foundation, No Bats Baseball Club, Oshkosh Defense, PING, Tee it up for the Troops, Trijicon, and Anthem Life.

 

Three Disabled Veterans, One Good Leg

About the Climbers:

Sergeant Neil Duncan, U.S. Army (ret.)—27-years-old, from Maple Grove, Minn., Duncan was severely injured in Afghanistan in December 2005 by an IED. Five days later, he woke up in the hospital missing both of his legs, breathing through a tube in his neck and could not talk. While undergoing rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he became involved in DSUSA's sports programs, where he learned to cycle, mono ski, golf and sail (including a race around Ireland and England with an all amputee warrior team). Duncan will attend the University of Denver this fall.

Staff Sergeant Dan Nevins, U.S. Army (ret.)—39-years-old, from Windsor, Calif. Nevins served in the Army for 14 years. In November 2004, while serving in Iraq, Nevins lost his left leg below the knee and suffered extensive bone and muscle damage to his right leg from an improvised explosive device. Through DSUSA’s sports programs, Nevins relearned how to snowboard, wake board, cycle and golf. In 2007, he suffered continued life threatening infections in his remaining leg and made the difficult decision to have it amputated. Despite this setback Nevins is an avid golfer and continues to remain active. Nevins currently works for Wounded Warrior Project in Jacksonville, Fla.

Sergeant Kirk Bauer, JD, U.S. Army (ret).—62-years-old, originally from Oakland, Calif. now living in Ellicott City, Md. Bauer lost a leg from a hand grenade during an ambush while serving in the Ninth Combat Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1969 where he earned two Bronze Stars for heroism. He has devoted 40 years of service to Disabled Sports USA. As its executive director for the past 28 years, Bauer has taken a small, all volunteer organization, and made it one of the nation’s largest sports and recreation organization for physically disabled individuals, with more than 100 chapters nationwide, serving 60,000 people annually. He worked to establish the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project in 2003. Bauer enjoys cycling, hiking, golfing and swimming.

 

TRIP ITINERARY

Click here for an image of the route Team Missing Parts in Action will be taking.

August 2: Make way to the Rongai gate. Start the trek to Simba Camp (9,000 ft)
August 3: From Simba Camp, make our way to Second Caves (11,318) or Kikelewa Camp (11,800 ft)
August 4: Make way toward the Third Cave or Mawenzi Camp (14,206 ft)
August 5: Try to reach Kibo Hut at (15,600 ft)
August 6: Rest day to acclimate
August 7: From Kibo, hike to the Hans Meyer Cave (16,896 ft)
August 8: Attempt to the summit at Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft). Start making way back to Horombo Hut (12,000ft)
August 9: Try to reach Marangu Gate.
August 10: additional day if needed
August 11: additional day if needed
August 12: additional day if needed



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