The inspirational story of Bajram vs Everest
A BOLD vision and a bucket load of determination was all it took for 52 year old former local, Bobby Bajram to leave Australia, bound for Everest, Nepal on Friday, May 10.
The vision was this, to attempt the task of climbing what’s commonly known as ‘The Triple’; Everest’s initial three-peak climb. Accompanied by expedition leader, Andrew Lock, Bajram arrived at Lukla airport which sits at an altitude of 2,845m, before trekking nine days to get to Everest base camp (5,380m), then another five hours to Mt Kala Patthar (5,644m) and a further three days on to the final destination of Mt Lobuche East (6,119m).
In an effort never before attempted by a disabled athlete, let alone one declared legally blind, the climb measures a total of 17,143m and is considered to be the test climb in preparation to summit Everest. The goal is one long-held by Bajram, held in-fact since he was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 13 – the youngest Australian ever to be diagnosed with the illness.
“I said to myself back then; one day I’m going to walk to the top the world and see the blue sky. And that was it,” states Bajram with conviction.
“I set myself the task of reaching the peak of Mt Everest by 2021 to show that having a disability does not rule my life. And also to raise awareness for those living with a disability, to show them you can have a disability but you can also try anything and have a go – stuff it, just have a crack!”
After celebrating his 52nd birthday at base camp, with about 1,000 others on May 22; Bobby, climbing with the support of Andrew and his Sherpas, successfully completed the climb on Monday, May 27 and reached the final peak without the aid of oxygen.
“I couldn’t even see the top of Lobuche and I was done, my body was shutting down and I wanted to give up, but I knew I had to prove I could do it, prove that I am one of the most extreme athletes in the world with a disability.
“Andrew told me now was the time to prove it and I knew I had to man up and just do it, do it for all the people with disabilities around the world,” he said.
And ‘man up’ he did.
The result of his effort… climbing permission permit granted for the remainder of Everest, Bajram is now just one step away from conquering his dream of reaching the summit of Everest in 2021.
“Without Andrew and my Sherpas I couldn’t have done it,” he said.
“He pointed me in the right direction and they spurred me on and then I crawled on my hands and knees 400m to the summit.
“I couldn’t see, there were drops either side of me, but I kept telling myself ‘man up, suck it up’. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes but I did it.
“When I reached the top I sat there and cried and I thought about my family and I felt proud, because – I said I would do it and I did.
“I’ve done this for everyone with a disability around the world, if I can do it, then you can do whatever you want to do too,” stated a proud Bajram.
The feat has been a long time coming Bajram, it’s taken years of preparation and training to prepare himself for the extremely treacherous conditions the mountain beholds, including below zero temperatures and winds up to 160km per hour. Conditions are unforgiving, unpredictable and temperamental, but Bobby still holds his fierce determination and is adamant he will achieve his goal.
“I did it, I achieved the first goal but I won’t feel like I’ve proved my point ‘til I’ve conquered Everest,” said Bajram.
He likes to call the mission, ‘making the impossible possible’, and with firm conviction states, “I’m going to be the first person in the world with a disability to have successfully climbed Everest.”
In order to make his dream come true and inspire others to discard their perceived limitations and follow their dreams Bobby Bajram has launched a GoFundMe campaign, you can learn more about the cause by visiting his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BobbyBajramMountEverest2013/
or GoFundMe campaign pages https://au.gofundme.com/bobbybajram