“A world first” for South African Chaeli Mycroft as she becomes the first female quadriplegic to summit Kilimanjaro

On Thursday 3 September 2015 at 08:00 -- five days after setting out on the Rongai Route on the North Eastern face of Mount Kilimanjaro -- Michaela ‘Chaeli’ Mycroft became the world’s first female quadriplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.
 
“We made it!” said Mycroft via satellite phone SMS a few hours after summiting. “I need my bed. Very tired, but really happy.”
 
Six other climbers from South Africa reached the summit with Chaeli.
 
The summit was confirmed in a phone call between Jarred Manasse of Discover Africa (official partners of the climb) and Ben McCullough of Summits Africa in Tanzania.
 
Jarred (Discover Africa): Hi Ben do you have any news?
 
Ben (Summits Africa): Definitely confirmed. Everyone to the summit including Chaeli. That’s seven to the summit. Johanna and Anne down. There’s no [confirmed summit] time. The communication was patchy. So we don’t have an exact time right now. As soon as I do I’ll send it via email. But basically Carel should check-in in about an hour because they should be into Kibo now. So I imagine he’s probably sorting everybody out. Carel should check-in with you in about an hour.
 
 
Dramatic day-by-day account of the climb
 
The threat of altitude sickness, dealing with temperatures below freezing point and minimal movement while strapped into a specially designed ‘mountain wheelchair’ were some of the challenges facing Chaeli and the “Chaeli Kili Climbers 2015” on their 7-day summit of Africa’s tallest mountain.
 
These challenges and highlights were posted in real-time to the expedition website from 27 August 2015 to 5 September 2015.
 
Nerves were high back home in South Africa on the morning of the summit, as friends and family of Chaeli and the rest of the climbers had their eyes fixed on the microsite which followed the team’s progress.
 
“We simply couldn’t take our eyes off the little red dots on the tracking map,” said Zelda Mycroft, Chaeli’s mom and CEO of The Chaeli Campaign.
 
Follow Chaeli and the climbers day-by-day journey by visiting the expdeition microsite - www.discoverafrica.com/teamwork
 
 
Climbing for a cause
 
Chaeli was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 11-months old. She is a wheelchair user. She proudly describes herself as an ‘ability activist’. 
 
“NOT a DISability activist,” she carefully points out.
 
Chaeli founded The Chaeli Campaign at age nine with her sister Erin and childhood friends Tarryn, Justine and Chelsea Terry.
 
The aim of the climb was to raise funds for The Chaeli Campaign’s Inclusive Education Programme and the Chaeli Cottage Inclusive Pre-school and Enrichment Centre. 
 
The purpose of the climb was to show the world how important it is to work together to attain a seemingly impossible goal: to show that one’s physical disability places no limitations on what one is able to achieve.
 
The Chaeli Campaign is a non-profit organisation that provides services to children with disabilities. 
 
Donations to The Chaeli Campaign can be made via the campaigns fundraising page at www.givengain.com/cause/2384/projects/14852/