When Constantinides and her children were killed in a horrific accident, West decided to do something drastic.
"Laurel's loss just left this giant hole in the world," said West, an avid mountain climber. "So, I felt like I needed to do something."
He founded a charity called 14ers 4 Kids, in honor of Constantinides. She and her three children, who were adopted from overseas, died when their van crashed into a washed out part of a dirt road in Wyoming on a camping trip in July 2011.
West founded his charity to help orphans with disabilities. He says they usually do not get adopted. He wanted to do it in a way that was memorable.
"I decided that climbing 14 14ers in 14 days was a pretty good challenge for me," West said.
In March, he started making plans to summit the 14,000 foot peaks during a two week span starting September 1. But, the week before his journey, he was posed with challenges he never planned for.
"I found out from an orthopedic surgeon that I had torn the meniscus in my knee," West said.
The same week, he got even worse news about one of the climbers who promised to complete this task with him, Chris Gray.
"We also got the news that Chris had died on Crestone Peak," West said. "He had fallen, lost his handhold and fallen 200 feet to his death."
With his friend's death and bad knee, West could have easily given up.
"I'm kind of stubborn person," West said. "When I set a goal for myself, I want to see it through."
So, instead of cancelling altogether, West postponed the trip. His quest for 14 14ers will now start October 12th. And, he believes that his journey is being guided by a force that wants him to appreciate the struggles that disabled orphans go through.
"Maybe this is fate or karma or something to tell me these kids have a bigger struggle than most of us can ever imagine," West said.
West is trying to raise $14,000 to donate to the Half the Sky Foundation. The foundation says that $5,000 is enough to open a foster home for up to five disabled orphans who have nowhere to go once they're too old to stay in the orphanage.
"Once they are old enough to be released from the orphanage, they are totally on their own," West said. "They have this disability, whatever that might be, to deal with and they have no one."
Now, they have a man with a bad knee, a heavy heart, and a determination to let nothing stop him from completing his task for charity.
"In life, if you push yourself, then you find out who you really are," said West.
If you want to help, you can donate at his web site at http://14ers4kids.blogspot.com/.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)