Doane graduate becomes first Hemophiliac to climb Everest

By  | 

LINCOLN Neb.-- A Doane University graduate can now say he is the first person with Hemophilia to ever climb Mount Everest. But he wasn't just hiking for himself.

Chris Bombardier of Colorado has been climbing for many years now. Although he suffers severe Hemophilia, he said he's learned to manage it and still life a full life.

Bombardier said he was determined to make it to the top of Everest to prove to other hemophiliacs that they can do anything.

Hemophilia means Bombardier's blood is a very thin and doesn't clot. In order to have normal blood function he infuses himself with plasma. However, any minor injury or just too much physical activity can be dangerous.

So, especially during extreme climbs, he says he has to take extra precautions.

"I take my medicine with an IV. So, there's another step that I have to do that other climbers don't. I also have to make sure my medicine doesn't freeze on the mountain, and there's just a lot of extra little steps," said Bombardier.

Bombardier's climbing though isn't just a hobby. He said he climbs to raise awareness about Hemophilia

He also climbs to raise funds for hemophiliacs in third world countries, who have a poor quality of life due to their blood disease.

While in Nepal, he says he bonded with local Hemophiliacs and kept a flag with their initials in his pocket throughout the expedition.

He said his moment at the top was as much for him as it was for them.

"It gave me, ya know, a little bit of a strength to get through those tough times. Thinking about, ya know, I get to choose to be climbing the mountain. And these guys, you know, they don't have that choice. They, have a pretty tough life with hemophilia," said Bombardier.

Since completing Everest, Bombardier has now climbed six of the seven summits of the world.

His last summit is Mount Vincent in Antarctica, which he plans to hike in December.

Bombardier's expedition through Everest will also be made into a documentary coming out Spring 2018. The theme of the film will be improving the quality of life for hemophiliacs around the world.