Chris Bombardier joins the list of Coloradans who have climbed Mount Everest, with a condition that makes it all the more impressive: he has severe hemophilia.
Specifically, he has severe Hemophilia B. This means his body doesn’t make a protein that helps the blood clot, which can lead to internal bleeding in muscles and joints if not treated with IV medication.
For him, it was about more than just climbing Mount Everest, as much as we are stretching that “just.” In his own words from Facebook:
For every child who has been told no due to their bleeding disorder. For every patient wondering when his next dose of life-saving clotting factor will be. For every family who has plans derailed by hemophilia. For every parent who goes to bed in agony not understanding how to treat their child’s disorder. For every hemophiliac athlete who waits in quiet hesitation out of fear of injury. For all of us overcoming the impossible. This mountain is for you.
PREVIOUSLY: Coloradan with hemophilia summits Mount Everest
Everest is a “special mountain” thanks to its history, and Bombardier said he has thought about climbing it for years. Even when he switched from just thinking about it to actually climbing it, it wasn’t real to him until he hit base camp and he was admiring the mountain's ice fall.
Climbing Mount Everest meant Bombardier had do his treatments much more frequently, every three to four days, because of how hard the journey was and how important it was he be prepared.
And what was it like climbing the mountain?
“(It’s) the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and the most scary place I’ve ever been.”
And that isn’t just about his difficulties from hemophilia, but the dangerous terrain of the mountain itself. When your trip involves crossing chasms that you can’t see the bottom of on a ladder, with ice that looks like it might fall on you, as he said he had to... well, the beauty and terror would be quite intertwined.
He even sat down not long before the summit, afraid he wouldn’t be able to make it until the Sherpa he was climbing with encouraged him to continue on and finish his mission.
"There's a lot of excuses you can make in your life to not chase your dreams," he said. "Whether it's hemophilia or something else. If you believe in it, you can actually make it happen."
And this isn’t the end of Bombardier’s dream. His goal is to climb the seven summits, which are the highest peak on every continent. With Mount Everest conquered, he only has one last climb to accomplish in Antarctica up Mount Vinson, which he plans to start in December.
His climb of Mount Everest also raised more than $13,000 for the nonprofit Save One Life, which provides aid to people with bleeding disorders in developing countries. Bombardier plans to donate the money to hemophilia relief efforts in Nepal, which experienced a devastating earthquake in 2015.
If you want to follow Bombardier’s journey in his future, then check out his website.