I’ve been a bit stressed lately, mostly about things that are out of my control, but I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t worried about something (seriously, I’m the worst…).
As I go into my 6th week of being a SAHM (but who’s counting, right?) I have noticed Eli has hit a plateau. I was cruising through my new gig, feeling like I was #thebestmomever when I realized that Eli’s speech has kind of stalled out. So I spent an entire day trying to get Eli to talk, only for both of us to go to bed frustrated and crying. I know I can’t get him to talk in one day, but my mind ran crazy with fears of the future…a non verbal future.
A future that the world has projected onto others with disabilities. And a false vision I let settle in and whisper stinky hatred in my ear during moments of mom guilt weakness.
I’m so glad that God has got my back, because at exactly the right time, I got an email about Elisha’s inspiring journey. I literally couldn’t stop smiling as I read about his trip.
The story comes from Emote360, which works globally to provide education, respite care, and retreats for children and families who have a disability. Pretty amazing, huh? Well this year they are filming a documentary on Elisha’s trek up Mt. Everest. Yup…he climbed Mt. Everest.
I think of all the dreams I have for my Eli, all the dreams I have for all three of my children, and never once did something so amazing as “climb Mt. Everest” cross my mind. In my darkest moments, I worried that all I could hope for was the picture this harsh world has painted for people with disabilities. Limited and devoid of opportunity. I’m on a mission to change that view, and I know Eli is too. I want everything Eli wants for himself and more. Not just getting married, or going to college, or living on his own…bigger, better dreams. I can’t think of anything more amazing than what Emote360 and Elisha are trying to do with this awesome story.
“In 2013, Elisha (Eli) became the first American with Down Syndrome and second youngest person with Down Syndrome ever, to reach Base Camp at Mt. Everest. The trek to Everest Base Camp served as a fundraiser for the organization as well as a tremendous awareness campaign, shining a light on those with special needs.
Building on the success of the Everest Trek (followed by every major news source and seen by millions of people around the world), Emote360 will be shooting a full-production documentary film on TEF’s upcoming trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro, highlighting the stories of trekkers who both have disability or have lived with disability in some form in their life.
The goal of the documentary is to raise awareness for those who live with disability on a global scale, and to inspire those who feel they can’t make a difference that they can change the world, no matter their personal challenges.”
Emote360 is seeking $45,000 to film this documentary to accommodate for multiple airline tickets, gear and personal expenses for a crew of three people. That’s small potatoes compared for the big future awaiting our kiddos. Eli may never talk but why would I let something like my own fears or mom guilt affect his future? Eli is exactly where be needs to be. And Elisha is too.
Check out Emote360 to help fund their efforts. I love this project and I love what his journey represents.
I am looking forward to so much for Eli. He’s moving mountains in his own way, reaching new heights and changing people’s’ perceptions every day.