My friend Brian Haupt, whom I met through Business Swap in Brisbane, found out about losing his sight at the age of 26. Since then he has overcome many challenges and his next one is climbing Mount Kilimanjora, the tallest mountain in Africa. He was featured in an article in the South East Advertiser, and sent me the following letter that I'd like to share with you.

Hi Matt,

As mentioned, Yes, I am doing something as crazy as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, leaving 9th, March this year.  The tallest mountain in Africa.

This is a fundraiser for the Queensland Eye Institute.  The money raised will be contributing into Macular Degeneration Research.  This disease effects the elder generation (You may know of someone who could be a sufferer?).

Why am I doing something as crazy as this?  Several reasons.  I was notified via an email outlining the expedition/fundraiser, inviting vision impaired persons to apply.  Naturally I put my hand up. I haven't actually been on a camping trip like this before.  The thought of walking 15-20 kilometres a day uphill is a little daunting.  However, I believe I can do it!  The walk is more about determination then climbing the mountain.  I will be meeting other vision impaired persons from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

All totaled there will be 11 vision impaired people and 11 sighted guides.

Five of the vision impaired persons will be from around Brisbane, and one from NZ.  The other five will be South African.  Each with our own sight hindrances'.

For more details on the expedition and participants, please click on the link below and check out the website.

I will be doing a great deal of walking.  In the six weeks leading Up to the departure we will be preparing with altitude training at Executive Excellence, in Albion.  I will be hooked up to a breathing machine which will decrease the amount of oxygen gradually whilst walking on a treadmill or peddling an exercise bike.

We will be leaving AUSTRALIA on the 9th March.  Landing in Johannesburg, making our way to the Drakensberg Mountains for a further two days of altitude training.  The next day will be the ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro.  This will be four days up.  Keeping in mind, the day we reach the peak.  We will start walking from 12 midnight, to watch (?!) the sunrise.  The temperature being approximately 10-15 degrees below zero.

I like to say BC (Bloody Cold) turning around to start the descent.  The next afternoon we are back at the motel.  After this we will make our way to Zanzibar for two days of RNR.  Then back home.

Parts of the trip will be filmed for memories and marketing purposes for those companies and businesses who sponsor or donate over $1,000..  Plus it is a World Record attempt for the largest number of blind climbers to scale Mt Kilimanjaro at the one time.

Raising as much money as possible, excess funds raised will be going toward MD Research.  The monies raised will cover travel, equipment, supplies, accommodation and porters.  This explains why we're looking for sponsors to help with the purchase of equipment (hiking boots, clothing, backpacks, airfares).

.  As this is for a registered charity, all donations in excess $2.00 are fully tax deductable.

Foundation Website;

Yours sincerely,

Brian Haupt


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