A metaphor which one inspiring heroic man truly understands and has lived.
64-year-old Tim O'Hagan recently returned from climbing the Kala Patthar mountain in the Nepalese Himalayas. Kala Patthar is hundreds of metres above Mount Everest base camp, standing over 5 000 metres high.
Having being diagnosed with RA some 27 years ago, Tim went from being an ultra-marathon runner and avid athlete to a man who struggled to simply get out of bed in the mornings. Tim worked as a journalist for most of his life, but as the RA continued wreaking havoc on his body, he had to be medically boarded from work in 2001.
The disease had devastating effects on Tim's life. He recalls how at times the pain was so severe and debilitiating that he would lie under his desk at work to find some relief.
Tim early on became aware of the lack of suppport and awareness about the life-altering effects of conditions such as RA and this encouraged him to raise awareness and educate people about autoimmune conditions.
Further challenges and complications arose when Tim's RA caused hardening of his arteries and he had to have two double stent implants as well as open heart surgery.
His cardiologist suggested that he do some walking in the mountains as exercise during his recovery. At first it was a great challenge to walk only 50 metres in Newlands Forest, but thanks to sheer determination and resilience, Tim has now climbed thousands of metres up a mountain known for its extremely challenging conditions at that high altitude.
Tim also very proudly raised awareness in aid of the Abbott Laboratories "Join the Fight Against Autoimmune Diseases" initiative; an initiative launched to unite and support all patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.
A huge WELL DONE to Tim for proving that even an RA patient can climb every mountain!
|Tim O'Hagan (left) on Kala Patthar Mountain.|
|Joining the Fight Against Autoimmune Diseases.|