CureDuchenne - Together we Can CureDuchenne
July 2012

Fourth Annual Climb to CureDuchenne Raises Awareness and Money for Research

Hawken's Heroes summit Mt. Killamanjiro
Tyler Armstrong and Paul Miller, co-founder of CureDuchenne, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The Hawken’s Heroes team, including 8-year-old Tyler Armstrong, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa June 25 through July 2 to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Tyler, of Yorba Linda, Calif., became the second youngest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tyler’s goal is to raise more than $19,341 a dollar for every foot he climbed for CureDuchenne. He is more than half way to his goal.

“I did it! I climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro for my friends Hawken, Suhail and Wil and the other boys with Duchenne who can’t climb,” said Tyler.

Tyler and the Hawken’s Heroes team summited on July 1 at 3:30 a.m. EST and descended down the mountain July 2. Dealing with the effects of altitude and fatigue, Tyler needed some assistance the last 1,000 feet but successfully made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Around 17,500-foot point, Tyler because fatigued and “lost power in my legs.” Two Tanzanian guides carried his backpack and put a hand under Tyler’s armpits and helped him take a load off his body so he was still able to walk and continue on to the top.

This experience gave Tyler a better understanding of what boys living with Duchenne have to go through every day.

“It was cool to be on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Tyler. “It would be even cooler if they could find a cure for Duchenne. We need everyone’s help to find a cure. CureDuchenne needs money to help save boys’ lives.”

Hawken's Heroes atop the Mt. Killamanjaro summit
Hawken’s Heroes summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  Hawken and Aloyce John
Paul Miller, co-founder of CureDuchenne, with Tyler Armstrong, 8, and Aloyce John, 15, a Tanzanian boy who lives with Duchenne.

Before the climb, Tyler met a 15-year-old Tanzanian boy with Duchenne in Moshi. His name is Aloyce John and lives in Rombo Tarakea. The team shared with his family that they were climbing to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Duchenne for boys around the world. This experience helped show Tyler that the work that CureDuchenne is doing to help find a cure can help boys around the world who live with Duchenne.

The Hawken’s Heroes team included: Paul Miller, co-founder of CureDuchenne; Dr. Barry Byrne, member of the CureDuchenne Scientific Advisory Board; Chris Schauf, from the band Catchpenny who wrote the song “Chance of Lifetime” for CureDuchenne; Tony Hynes; Tyler; Kevin Armstrong, Tyler’s dad; Paul Allen; Andrea Wolfe, Travel Dirty; and Stephanie Whitman. The elite team dealt with rain, mud, snow and cold temperatures during the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Hawken's Heroes prior to their climb
Hawken's Heroes.
  Hawken and Aloyce John
A beautiful shot of base camp.

“It was amazing to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro led by a courageous young boy with a big heart,” said Paul Miller, co-founder of CureDuchenne and Duchenne parent who summited Mt. Kilimanjaro along with Tyler. “Tyler helped us reach new heights on the mountain just as we are reaching new heights in the research to find a cure for Duchenne.”

Thanks to Dr. Byrne, a member of the CureDuchenne Scientific Advisory board and great friend, who has climbed several mountains for CureDuchenne. It was because of Dr. Byrne that Tyler was allowed to make the climb at his young age. Dr. Byrne also saved the life of a woman on the mountain who was suffering from altitude sickness and severedehydration. We are so proud to have him on our team.

Thank you to Travel Dirty who sponsored Tyler’s climb and secured the permits from the Tanzanian government to allow Tyler to climb at the age of 8 (usually age 10 is the youngest they allow to climb).

Thanks to the entire Hawken’s Heroes and TopWithTyler team for going on this amazing adventure to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Duchenne.

The Mt. Kilimanjaro climb has generated significant media coverage including television appearances on CNN, Headline News, KABC, KCBS, KTLA, KCAL9 and multiple articles in the Orange County Register.