After traveling all the way from Bend, Oregon, 15-year-old Elisha Reimer -- nicknamed Eli -- became the first person with Down syndrome to make it to the base camp of Mount Everest.
“We were able to celebrate that as we departed Kathmandu, with him completing something that no other teenager with Down syndrome has done,” Justin Reime, the teen's dad, told KTVZ News. “It’s monumental.”
It took Eli and his dad two weeks to complete the 70-mile hike after one year of training, according to ABC News.
Watch a one-minute clip of their trek in the video above.
The purpose of the climb was about more than breaking records. NBC Los Angeles reports that Elisha raised a total of $85,000 in donations to benefit the Elisha Foundation, created by his parents Justin and Tamara Reime in 2005. The mission of the Elisha Foundation is to help families with children who have special needs by providing “refreshment and encouragement.”
Eli was welcomed home by friends and family at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday night, who all chanted his name. The event also happened around the same time as World Down Syndrome Day, which is annually observed on March 21.
In January, another teen with Down syndrome made headlines because of an amazing accomplishment. Owen Groesser, an eighth grader from Michigan, landed on "Sportscenter" after scoring two three-point shots in his first basketball game of the season. Owen was featured on ESPN after his teammates, classmates and family used the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportscenter on Twitter to spread his story.
“I wasn’t surprised that he made the shot because we play at home in the driveway and he shoots 3-pointers a lot,’’ Chris Groesser, Owen’s father, told TODAY.com. “It was just very cool that he got a chance.’’
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