2017 ROMP Climb of Volcan Cayambe Ecuador

On 21 July 2017, myself & 20 other amputee & able bodied climbers travelled to Quito Ecuador to attempt to summit Volcan Cayambe, a 19,000′ dormant volcano. Why? To show the world the power of mobility, the importance of access to prosthetic care and the international importance of legislation protecting rights for those with disabilities in the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ROMP, the Range Of Motion Project provides free prosthetic care to people who live with limb loss. They currently have clinics in Ecuador & Guatemala and their goal is to supply the needs of amputees world wide. I was invited to join their Elite Climb Team and help raise funds for ROMP’s mission. Our team raised over $55K. In all total, the Climbing For ROMP fundraising event raised over $70K and is still climbing.

Using only my iPhone, I documented our experience while in Quito. Please enjoy this video of our epic journey.

Table Mountain, Cape Town South Africa!

I recently got a chance to explore the beauty that is Table Mountain. I was in Cape Town South Africa for a business trip and on the last day we decided to hike to the top of this local tourist attraction. Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark in South Africa. It’s flat top peak reaches 3558′ above sea level and is hiked daily by tourists and locals alike.

My flight didn’t depart until 19:30 that evening which gave me plenty of time to go off and casually explore some of the beautiful Cape Town countryside. Our initial plan was to hike up the mountain in the am and have lunch at the top, then ride the cable car back down to the bottom. As with life, sometimes our plans change unexpectedly. On this day the wind was incredibly strong at the top which prevented the cable car from running. We didn’t take this possibility into consideration during our planning stage, so we had no choice but to hike back down after our ascent. There are 5 popular trails that lead to the top of the mountain: Lion’s Head, Pipe Track, Platteklip, Upper Cableway and Skeleton Gorge. We chose Platteklip which is the most direct and also the most vertical. It felt like all we did was continuously go up! Various stones are assembled to form “steps” which are relentless on the legs. At the end of the day I felt like I did 20,000 squats! The mountain is home to a variety of wildlife including snakes (we didn’t see any) lizards, birds and Rock Hyrax or “Dassie” as they are called. Dassies are a small furry diurnal animal that resembles a rabbit but is actually a hoofed mammal related to the elephant. Enjoy these beautiful photos and video of our climb up Table Mountain.

 

Climbing For ROMP!

I’m climbing a mountain in Ecuador!

If there’s one thing that my dad taught me, it was to be a man of service. To use my life in such a way that it helps other people. Doing things for others is where you’ll find true happiness in life. So, I’m putting my life on the line (once again) in order to help an amazing foundation raise funds to help the less fortunate. ROMP, the Range Of Motion Project is a global non profit healthcare organization dedicated to providing prosthetic and orthotic care to those without access to these services. During the week of July 21-30, 2017, the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ROMP Elite Team of climbers made up of amputee and non amputee athletes from the United States, Guatemala & Ecuador, will embark on a 10 day expedition in the Ecuadorian Andes. We will attempt to summit Antisana, one of the highest peaks in Ecuador at 18,714 feet. And I thought walking across the African Serengeti was crazy! Believe me, I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t believe in ROMP’s mission statement. Our efforts will go far in helping ROMP help people who desperately need prosthetic legs, arms & orthotic care.

How can you help? This is a fundraiser. I need to raise funds. I’m doing all of the hard work and risking my life but you can be a part of my team! Every Elite Team member must fundraise in order to attempt the climb. If I had the money I would write a check and be done with it. But I don’t. I need your help! Your donation is 100% tax deductible and every person who donates, no matter how big or how small will get their name signed to this beautiful peace flag which will make the journey to the top of Antisana with me. Once at the top, I will take photos of the flag and each donor will get a digital copy of those photos. This way you get back something tangible for your donation, besides the satisfaction of knowing that your money helped someone walk again.

 

Are you with me? Can I count on your support for this mission? I don’t lend my name or my efforts to anything that isn’t “right” or anything that I don’t passionately believe in. This isn’t some fly by night event. This is serious. People can get hurt. I believe in ROMP’s mission statement and I hope that you will believe in me because I’m about to make Antisana my bitch! Please click on my crowdrise link and make your tax deductible donation. If you’d rather mail in your donation please send to ROMP, P.O. Box 100915, Denver CO, 80250. Please be sure to share my name with your mail in donation and also email me at Reggie@reggieshowers.com so that I can include your name on the flag. Also, check out the video link of ROMP changing lives in Ecuador. Thank you in advance for your support which will change lives! #GodFirst #ICanDoThis #RangeOfMotionProject #AmputeeStrong #Antisana #Ecuador #AndesMountains #AmericanswithDisabilitiesAct #Soleus #TeamCollegePark

This video is near and dear to my heart since I too am an electrocution survivor:

Happy Birthday Ms Carolyn!

Ms. Barbara Showers and Ms. Carolyn Smith have been friends since the late 1960’s when they were neighbors on 55th St in West Philadelphia. Each had young children and would take turns babysitting each other’s kids. I was the youngest of Barbara’s 6 kids. Ms. Carolyn had 4- Pam, Willard, Ellen & Harry. Most of us know her son “Will” as one of the most successful entertainers in the world, Will Smith. For our family, It’s been a pleasure watching one of our own “homeboys” exercise his blessings and become a successful positive role model in the lives of people all across the world.

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Me, Autumn, Barbara & Carolyn.

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In October of 2016, I made plans for my daughter Autumn & I to go to Las Vegas Nevada during the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend. She had never been to Vegas before so I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to sight see, do adventurous stuff and meet up with my best friend Laurie and her family from California. A few weeks after our plans were confirmed I got an email from Ms. Carolyn’s daughter Ellen inviting my mom to Vegas for a party. Coincidentally it was the same weekend that Autumn & I were already going to be in Vegas, so we added mom to our plans.

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Autumn & Jaden Smith

On January 14, 2017 Will and his family had a celebration marking a major milestone in their mother’s life, her 80th birthday. The party was held at The Chelsea theater inside The Cosmopolitan hotel. Roughly 70 of Ms. Carolyn’s family and closest friends sat for an amazing dinner followed by a surprise concert by the legendary OJays! Here are just a few images from an amazing celebration for a beautiful woman. Happy birthday Ms. Carolyn.

Will Smith, Jaden Smith & the mighty OJays:

“Swifty!”

I’m always eager to showcase the life and talents of the incredible people that I meet in my travels. As an ambassador for College Park Industries, a prosthetic foot company based in Warren MI, part of my job is to attend educational, recreational and sporting events that are geared specifically towards the amputee or disabled community. After meeting and networking with thousands of people, I’ve discovered that the one common denominator that exists within all of us human beings is the basic will to survive. We just want to live. Sure some of us get beat down over time as we deal with the frustrations and hardship of life, but we all tend to find a way to deal with our situations, no matter how hard they are. Many people say to me “Reggie you’re such an inspiration. I could’t go through what you’ve gone through.” I invariably respond “sure you could. You just haven’t had the opportunity to prove that you could.” What I mean by that is some of us go through life having experienced very few dangers or accidents or injustices. We’ve never had a car accident, never been robbed or even broken a bone. Some have never experienced true pain or struggle. Others aren’t so lucky. Some have broken multiple bones, had multiple concussions, suffered burns, amputations, numerous surgeries, diseases, been bankrupt, divorced, assaulted, robbed, wrongly accused, you name it. Having experienced a few of the aforementioned (I’ve lived life), I’ve had the opportunity to prove to myself on numerous occasions that I was a survivor. That I was strong. I then channeled that confidence (strength) into other areas of my life where I was weak. Time and time again I’ve proven to myself that I am more than enough. That I have what it takes even if I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. Have you ever asked yourself “am I enough?” I bet you have. Let me tell you something, the will to survive (and be great) is written into our DNA. It’s inside of you & it’s inside of me. We were not put here to be failures. We were put here to do epic shit in life! Continue reading

2016 Chicago Marathon

Amputees running marathons isn’t something that you see on a regular basis, but there are lots of us who are more than capable of completing the 26.2 mile course. Personally, I never considered myself to be one of those people. There was never any doubt in my mind that I could finish the race, it’s just that I never had the desire to even enter one. In my mind I was a better marathon spectator than a participant. That is until my good friend John Stuart started the conversation. John, who is an avid marathoner with 39 races to his credit, invited me to run the 2016 Chicago Marathon along with his daughters and co workers as part of MDA Team Momentum. We would be raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Never being one to shy away from a challenge, I earnestly accepted his invite and immediately began researching what it takes to prepare for a marathon. Let me say that It’s a lot of work. Hard work! It’s a lot of work for an able bodied person and even 3 times as much for someone who has a leg amputation. But I was determined not to fail. Especially since we would be running for charity! Continue reading

2016 US Paralympic Team Trials. The Road To Rio.

In 1948, the very first organized athletic competition for disabled athletes took place in London UK during the opening of the Summer Olympics. It was called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games. The creator, Dr. Ludwig Guttman of Germany, wanted an elite sports competition for people who lived with disabilities. It wasn’t until 1960 when the first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome. 23 countries participated. In the beginning, only athletes in wheelchairs were allowed to compete. Not until the 1976 Summer Games were athletes with different disabilities allowed. That year, 40 countries sent 1600 athletes to compete. In 2008, over 3900 athletes from 146 countries competed. Needless to say, the interest of the Paralympic Games has grown dramatically. As adaptive equipment has advanced and allowed the disabled community to reach levels of performance previously unheard of, so has the interest in becoming a Paralympic athlete. Not only has the interest in becoming an athlete grown, but also the interest in watching the games. This year NBC has dedicated 66 hours of television coverage to the Paralympic Games. That’s an increase of 60.5 hours of the coverage from the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Continue reading