Scott OsleebScott Osleeb and his best friend Rocio Ildemaro, Team "Full Ascent," have set out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro from September 8th - 15th, 2019. Their goal is to raise money and awareness for Friedreich's ataxia (FA) and the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) in honor of two little girls living with FA, Grace and Stella Smith. Friedreich's ataxia is a rare debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. About 5,000 people in the United States and 15,000 worldwide live with FA. Grace and Stella's parents Scott and Susan are close friends of the two taking on this challenge.

"Their family has taught me so much about what it means to persevere, to love and to live life to its fullest. When I am down, I think about how those two amazing girls tackle each and every day with dignity," said Scott Osleeb, "I climb for them and all those living each day with FA. As I train for the hardest climb I have ever done, I think about the daily challenges Grace and Stella face and I remember that we all have mountains to climb."

Osleeb began thinking of climbing the highest summits shortly after being diagnosed with stage 4 leukemia five years ago. After going through chemo and being hospitalized for long periods, he decided he wanted to start doing things with his life that were important to him and had a purpose. He began taking steps towards climbing the largest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Scott and longtime friend Rocio are looking forward to their climb and encouraging others to support their efforts. Once they reach the summit, they will plant a flag in honor of everyone affected by FA.

Scott Osleeb is a proud Bostonian currently living in the Berkshires- passionate about the environment, hiking, his dogs and helping others in need.

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