This refugee climber whose right leg was amputated after he was diagnosed with cancer at 15 is now planning to become the first amputee to scale the ‘Seven Summits’ and reach both poles.
Palestinian-Jordanian climber Jarah Al Hawamdeh was diagnosed with cancer at 15 and in 2010 he had his right leg amputated to stop the disease from spreading through his body.
Al Hawamdeh, who says he was “lazy” as a teenager, suffered from insomnia as he recovered and made a pledge to begin mountain climbing for the first time.
He told local media that he recognised he was in a unique situation but was fiercely hungry to turn his life “into something good”.
He climbed his first peak two years later, reaching the top of Jabal Umm Addami, Jordan’s highest mountain at 1,854 metres (6,082 feet).
Al Hawamdeh, who was born in Jordan to Palestinian refugees, has now climbed some of the world’s most iconic peaks, scaling Mount Kilimanjaro and reaching Mount Everest Base Camp.
The 25-year-old says he has now set himself the challenge of scaling the ‘Seven Summits’ and trekking to the North and South Poles before the end of 2021.
The ‘Seven Summits’ are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Mount Vinson and Carstensz Pyramid.
Doing so would make him the first man with one leg to achieve the feat.
The climber, who trains for two hours a day, uses the attention from his climbing to raise money for refugees and cancer patients.
Al Hawamdeh’s grandparents fled Palestine in the 1940’s during the mass exodus from the country because of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He says their story has inspired him to work for refugees’ rights.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.