He has showed them all: in August 2018, with strong support from friends and Mammut, Tom scaled Kilimanjaro. Since a bone cancer caused leg amputation at the age of eight, Tom was repeatedly told all the things he was able to do and, above all, certainly can’t do due to his physical impairment. Climbing the highest mountain in Africa therefore was a dream come true for Tom,: “It’s unbelievable! When I reached the summit, I felt completely overwhelmed and amazingly proud! The climb was a great physical and mental challenge. When I actually achieved it, I simply felt happy – and extremely exhausted .” After a long preparation time, including a successful training tour on the Äusseres Barrhorn (3,600 m) in the Swiss Alps, Tom started his big project on August 2nd at Lemosho Gate (2200m). On August 9th, 2018, after a seven days lasting ascent, Tom finally stood on the summit of Kilimanjaro (5895m) – filled with great joy.
The teacher from Germany wanted to show both himself and the world what he was capable of. He also intended to encourage others with his own story: “By climbing Kilimanjaro, I wanted to prove that a physical impairment does not necessarily need to be a disability. When I was a young boy, it would have felt great if someone had told me that there was a crazy guy out there climbing mountains with just one leg. My personal success can now serve as an inspiration for others – that makes me feel very happy and proud.”
On the journey of his life, Tom was accompanied by a film team who recorded all the emotions and exertions experienced by the 31-year-old and his companions. The resulting movie, The strong goat - Mbuzi Dume, shows how Tom felt during the ascent of Kilimanjaro, the challenges he had to overcome along the way and where he was pushed to his limits. The impressive movie features on this year’s E.O.F.T. (European Outdoor Film Tour), set to launch in October