Tyler Armstrong, an 8-year-old boy from Yorba Linda, California, became the second youngest person to reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tyler and his team climbed from June 25th through July 2nd, not for the fame of completing the task at such a young age, but instead to raise awareness and funds for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
“I did it! I climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro for my friends Hawken, Suhail, and Wil and the other boys with Duchenne who can’t climb,” exclaimed Tyler.
Duchenne impacts 300,000 boys worldwide, and the disease is the most common and lethal form of muscular dystrophy. Most boys with Duchenne are diagnosed by age 5, are using a wheelchair by age 12, and the vast majority do not survive pas their mid-20s.
Tyler and his team, CureDuchenne’s Hawken’s Heroes, summitted at 3:30am on July 1st. Tyler needed a little help with the last 1,000 feet due to the altitude, but he made it to the top.
“It was cool to be on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” he said. “It would be even cooler if they could find a cure for Duchenne. We need everyone’s help to find a cure. CureDuchenne needs money to help save boys’ lives.”
“It was amazing to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro led by a courageous young boy with a big heart,” said Paul Miller, co-founder of CureDuchenne, who climbed alongside Tyler. “Tyler helped us reach new heights on the mountain just as we are reaching new heights in the research to find a cure for Duchenne.”
CureDuchenne is a non-profit that funds research into treatments and cures for Duchenne. The climb was coordinated through Climb to CureDuchenne, and the funds will be used to support the most promising research projects that aim to treat and cure Duchenne. Tyler is hoping to raise $19,341, which is a dollar for every foot he climbed.