FIFTY-four-year-old Bobby Bajram has set his sights higher than most since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 13, so it’s not surprising to people who know him that nothing will stop him climbing Mount Everest.
Against the advice of his doctors, and knowing of the deadly risks, Mr Bajram is pushing ahead with his plan to climb 8840 metres to the summit and will head to Nepal in March next year.
“Look, have a crack I say, I believe you have to push yourself and ever since I was told I had MS I have wanted to get to the top of the world,” he said.
Not only battling MS-related mobility issues, Mr Bajram is legally blind and will require a team of 30 leaders, guides and medical experts to help him climb the steep terrain.
Fuelled by determination and a never-give-in attitude, Mr Bajram has inspired many communities to follow his journey. He has a global following through social media, has appeared on talk shows around the world and is currently talking with international reporters about an article for Germany’s national newspaper Bild.
His enthusiasm for life and having a “crack” is infectious, and the energy and effort he puts into following his dreams seems endless.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair for months at a time and bedridden with 24-hour pain, when his health allows Mr Bajram follows a punishing schedule of gym work in Mornington six days a week and is a regular at the 1000 Steps memorial walk in the Dandenong Ranges. In addition, he has already climbed three of the world’s highest mountains, including Mera Peak, Mount Kala Patthar and Mt East Lobuche, as well as Base Camp, and feels confident of an Everest “success”.
“I have one of the best Everest guides there is, and he told me ‘look, it you have an MS attack on the mountain, or you get sick in any way, we will bring you straight down’,” Mr Bajram said.
“But if I give it my best shot and I have a crack, that’s ok with me, that’s what I want people to know, trying your best is still succeeding.”
While staying fit helps Mr Bajram deal with the challenges of MS, there are times every few months when he can’t even get out of bed and is riddled with pain.
“At the moment it feels good to be up and about, and I have to stay positive…I have to throw everything at this and just suck it up,” he said.
Mr Bajram is only half way to his Mount Everest money raising goal and has set up a Bobby Bajram Mount Everest Facebook page where people can follow his journey.
To donate go to: gofundme.com/f/bobby-for-everest