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This documentary follows 14 Texans with disabilities as they try to reach Mount Everest base camp in Nepal. The team comprises various disabilities including paraplegia, amputation, fibromyalgia, spina bifida, and deafness. The five wheelchair users employ various methods of transportation from propelling their own wheelchairs to being carried on the backs of sherpas in wicker baskets. The trek takes 21 days.
Interviews with the climbers talking about their life with disability are interspersed with footage of the trek. A team doctor follows along with commentary on the particular medical needs that a person who uses a wheelchair may have, such as pressure sores or bowel and bladder issues. One poignant storyline concerns a native Nepalese man who is an arm amputee. He is happy to meet another person with an arm amputation and when he tells the team he has never seen Mount Everest, he is invited to go with them. One person turns back before reaching the base camp because he missed his family. One other person has to turn back for medical reasons.
Another interesting character is Robert, the brother of Gene, one of the wheelchair users. Robert accompanies Gene as his attendant in the hopes that this will make them closer. However, Gene hopes that Robert will realize a life-change of his own and see what he can accomplish if he sets his mind to it; will he find the personal strength to quit his dead end job to pursue his love of music? We learn later that after the trip Robert does indeed follow his dream.
The team becomes the largest group of people with disabilities to make it to the Mount Everest base camp. The expedition leader, Gary Guller, goes on to the summit as the first arm amputee to reach the summit. He can be seen giving the team a pep talk and educating the sherpas on being careful with people with paraplegia as they can’t feel their legs and may be injured when being put on the ground.
The theme is that personal ambition and dreams can overcome physical limitations. The beauty of Nepal and its people is on display throughout. An uplifting film with stunning cinematography.