Grandparents beam after teen with Down syndrome makes Mt. Everes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Grandparents beam after teen with Down syndrome makes Mt. Everest history

Eli Reimer, 15, became the first person with Down syndrome to reach the base camp of Mount Everest (Source: KABC/CNN). Eli Reimer, 15, became the first person with Down syndrome to reach the base camp of Mount Everest (Source: KABC/CNN).
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A teenager with Down syndrome, from Oregon, made history. He became the first teen with Down syndrome to climb Mt. Everest, nearly 18,000 feet high.

His grandparents live in Charlotte and they are proud of their grandson.

"To my grandson atta boy," Grandfather Dale Reimer said. "It gives him a sense of self esteem and a sense of self worth."

Reimer couldn't believe it when his son told him what he was about to do with Eli.

"My son is absolutely nuts," the grandfather said. "Down syndrome kids usually have smaller nasal passages, sinus difficulties, breathing difficulties and just physical difficulties and possibly not the stamina to do it."

But Eli completed the journey.

"The picture I love is," Reimer said. "When he is at the top and he's like this."

The journey raised money to help families with children with special needs to get a much deserved break.  Reimer says the money will give families and all their children an expense paid trip to relax and reboot.

"You cannot sympathize with somebody with challenged children," Reimer said. "Until you have been in that place yourself."

The grandfather is proud his son is taking on this mission.  The Mt. Everest trip will make a difference for families.   

"His outreach is to include them all," Reimer said. "And to care. They'll have crafts and they have story time and nature walks."

We are told about $85,000 in donations have been raised so far.

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