Recently, I was watching CBS This Morning with Charlie, Nora, and Gail and as they were talking about The Hero Project, I told myself that this was something that I needed to share with everyone on this forum. It is an amazing project by an amazing American. The story is below and was cut and pasted from their website online. I wrote nothing except this introductory paragraph. I am confident that you will be as amazed as I was and when you are, please share with as many people as you can. Thank you.
He rode his chopper across the country to Los Angeles in 1998 where he parlayed his love of bikes and the open road into a successful career selling and building custom motorcycles for Hollywood’s elite at the world renowned Bartel’s Harley Davidson.
Tim became a member of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle club and traveled all over the world with the club, some of the best times he’s ever had. Then on September 10,2001 he was racing his motorcycle through the San Fernando Valley when he was hit by a truck in a catastrophic accident that left him physically devastated, partially paralyzed and fighting for his life.
He required 8 surgeries to save his foot, which doctors feared needed to be amputated, 2 metal plates and 20 screws to repair his cracked skull. A 9 hour surgery to repair his shattered back with a titanium cage, plates and screws to put his knee back together and additional surgery to fuse his finger. He was not expected to walk again or to fully recover.
But no one told Tim that.
He awoke in ICU on life support alone and in pain in the hospital on September 11,2001 just moments before the planes hit the World Trade Center. His room was crowded with doctors and nurses, all riveted to the burning buildings on tv, his former home. The world had changed forever and so had Tim’s.
For six long months Tim struggled to regain the use of his legs, work through excruciating pain, and find some meaning in his life. He was adrift, and not accepting the loss of his old body and his old life. One day in September 2002 after a year long self destructive binge sitting in his one bedroom apartment in Hollywood, he looked up at his bookshelf and saw Jon Krakauer’s book “into thin air” wedged in the corner.
The book had been a gift that was given to him four years prior where after finishing he vowed to climb Mt Everest one day. but he was in no condition to make such a journey. So thirty days later he gave up his apartment and booked a one way ticket to Nepal and slowly and insistently began to put his body and his life back together living amongst local Sherpas in the foothills of the Himalayas in preparation for his attempt of the summit of Mt Everest.
It took him 4 years to train, much of it spent climbing numerous peaks in the Himalayas and boxing in a muay thai boxing camp in the south of Thailand to get back into fighting shape.
Tim has climbed Mt. Everest twice, which by happenstance was filmed by the Discovery Channel in a 14 part epic series (Everest Beyond the Limit) one of the highest rated shows on Discovery Channel.
Tim returned to LA and once again found himself at a crossroads. He knew he wanted to keep climbing, he already proved to himself nothing could stand in his way, summiting Everest on May 21, 2007 was about his own personal recovery, but he felt he needed a reason to continue, a purpose beyond his own individual satisfaction.
Again inspiration came from an unlikely place, a news broadcast on veterans day about disabled and disfigured returning veterans struck a familiar and powerful cord. Tim realized he had something to offer these brave soldiers and marines, the chance to put their lives back together through the challenge of climbing.
Tim contacted all of his previous sponsors from his prior expeditions. His goal was to take a wounded veteran with him on his next climbs. He realized that if he could renew his faith in himself on the summit of a mountain, he could help others do so as well.
It didn’t take him long to raise the funds with the help of Chrome Hearts, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Cher Charitable Foundation, Eddie Bauer, and some private financial donors who always believed in Tim from the beginning.
He embarked on two major expeditions in the summer of 2009 to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa and Mt Elbrus, Russia with two injured war veterans. Tim with his friend and Cameraman Ken Sauls captured on video all the determination and perseverance of both heroes to provide inspiration and hope for future returning injured soldiers to watch.
There was no turning back this time, in the fall of 2009 Tim founded The Heroes Project, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to help more wounded warriors climb the worlds highest peaks and find a renewed purpose and belief in themselves.
The foundation is predicated on the idea that we can make a difference and change the lives of our wounded veterans, marines, soldiers and their families one soldier, one marine, one family at a time. For Tim and the men and women of The Heroes Project, the real journey is just beginning. Hence The Heroes Project was born.
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