Not a dry eye as Martin reaches the summit of Kilimanjaro

We aren’t ashamed to admit that there wasn’t a dry eye around at Team Bean when we got the call to say Martin Hibbert had safely made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, five years after being paralysed from the waist down from horrific injuries sustained in the Manchester Arena bombings.

Photo shows Martin Hibbert a white man with a beard, warmly dressed in hat, coat and salopettes

Martin is only the second paraplegic to have made it to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa. A feat for any person, facing altitude, inhospitable terrain and extreme temperatures, but to have achieved this in a wheelchair is nothing short of incredible. Martin undertook to make the ascent in a specially adapted handbike and every aspect of the trip has been meticulously thought through to help him achieve the impossible.

BundleBean is exceptionally proud to have designed two pairs of adaptive salopettes – hand made to his specific requirements and needs to ensure he is warm (not easy as Martin has no movements from the waist down), dry and critically that he doesn’t sustain sores or rubs that would almost certainly bring the trek to an end.

Martin’s motivations behind this epic challenge are varied: for one he wants to raise awareness and change for all disabled people, not only those affected by spinal injuries. He feels passionately about changing the narrative from the evil enacted upon him his daughter on that fateful day in 2017 and turn it into a positive force for good. He credits so many people with getting him to this point – the emergency services, the NHS, his family and friends and, not least, the Spinal Injuries Association.

Nik Hartley, CEO of the Spinal Injuries Association was on BBC Breakfast this morning saying that if Martin can raise his goal of £1million, it will enable the charity to support every single person living with a spinal injury to have a specialist nurse, counsellor and advocate in their region to help them live their very best lives, get equipment they need and back to work or education. A spinal injury is much more than a physical impairment, affecting everything from skin to bowels and sexual function – and as much, specialist care is badly needed.

None of this has been easy – Martin has battled with health issues leading up to his departure, Covid prevented him going twice, and half way to the summit two of his closest friends had to go back down to be treated for high altitude sickness.  Martin will be speaking on BBC Breakfast tomorrow – please do tune in to hear more from this remarkable man.

photo shows a man in a wheelchair being helped by porters, in a barren landscape

And if you can, please do donate:

So from Team Bean to Martin – congratulations big guy.  We will sleep a bit better now you are safely down!




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