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AZ Desert Swarm Is Going to Kilimanjaro!

If you've ever had a dream to see the Arizona flag waved proudly on top of the summit of the world's 4th largest mountain AND to support an incredible charity, then please keep on reading.

I apologize for interrupting your regularly scheduled Arizona athletics programming but I have some exciting news and I'm reaching out to the Desert Swarm community for your help! We typically cover the happenings of elite Arizona athletes that compete in a variety of different sports and outside of the use of the word 'elite', this post is no different. An Arizona alumni is attempting something athletic, difficult and potentially very stupid, and that Arizona alumni is me.

At the very end of this month (starting on August 29th to be exact) myself and a childhood friend of mine will be traveling to Tanzania along with a group of 15 others where we will be climbing and conquering Mount Kilimanjaro! If you didn't know, Kilimanjaro is the 4th largest peak in the world, the largest free standing mountain on the planet and is significantly bigger than Mount Mutombo.

Now you probably have a few questions and I'll try to address them all now.

Q: What do you want from me?

A: Beside continuing to support AZ Desert Swarm and to keep cheering on our beloved Wildcats, I am also asking for your help for us to achieve our fundraising goal. We pledged to raise $10,000 for our efforts (almost there!) which is a meaningful amount as this is the cost associated with saving one child's heart. More information about this great charity is found below. We have paid out of pocket for all expenses so 100% of your donation will be going directly to SACH to help save a child's heart. We are incredibly excited about this adventure and we would be extremely grateful if you could make a donation, however small or large (every dollar counts!), to such a worthy cause. Our donation page can be found at the following link:

Q: What's in it for me?

A: Besides knowing that you gave a contribution to help an outstanding organization and you helped save a child's heart, as a proud Arizona graduate and member of the AZ Desert Swarm writing team, I have decided to give this a little Wildcat twist. I pledge to bring an Arizona flag and my throwback Arizona Red Salim Stoudamire jersey on the trip and I will proudly wear the jersey and wave the flag at the summit. I'm unsure if I would be the first person to wave a U of A flag at the summit, but I do feel pretty confident I'd be the first person to wear a Salim Stoudamire jersey while doing it. Now I know how Neil Armstrong must have felt.

Q: Do you climb mountains often?

A: No. Literally never.

Q: Then why would you do this??????

A: We are doing this climb for a truly great cause called Save A Child's Heart (SACH) and I am writing today to ask for your support. Save A Child's Heart performs emergency heart surgeries on children from third world countries such as Ethopia, Syria, and Iraq and many others which don't have the doctors or the equipment to perform these life-saving surgeries. The children in need of surgery are brought to Israel where they are taken care of at the Save A Childs Heart house before surgery, have the surgeries performed by world-renowned doctors, and then are taken care of after surgery again in the SACH house. A photo of my climbing partner Jordan and two adorable kids that received life-saving treatment at the house is below:

Q: Do you realize that Save A Child's Heart is the greatest charity name since the 'Human Fund'?

A: Absolutely. If I were going to make up a fake charity name to tug at the heart strings, 'Save A Child's Heart' would be it but unlike Costanza's fake charity, this wonderful organization is making the world a significantly better place and helping those who need it the most.

Q: Do I have an opportunity to get angry about anything political here?

A: No. This is truly one of the most incredible charities I have ever seen. Many of these children are from countries that are not "friendly" with Israel or the United States including Palestinian children, but when it comes to saving the lives of children, there can be no borders and no enemies. It is a tremendous charity that is building bridges in the region and one that I am very proud to support and I hope you are too.

Q: Would Rich Rod and Sean Miller think it would be pretty cool for me to donate?

A: I haven't asked them personally about it but I'm pretty sure they would.

Thank you in advance for your support and I'm going to Bear Down all over that mountain!