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Houston Benefit for Mount Kilimanjaro

Posted Friday, April 4th 2014 @ 5am by KTRH’s Nikki Courtney

Will Cannon is going to climb a mountain. He needs your help. The Houston Benefit for Mount Kilimanjaro. More on that in a minute.

The Houston native is a military veteran, having been a 19 Delta and part of a special platoon privately trained for Special Operations, including High Valued Target Mission and Time Sensitive Targets. Will Cannon served in Iraq and Afghanistan, twice, and Korea, which he says was his worst tour of duty. Leaving the military with a 70% disability rating he did not know the greatest challenges were still ahead. The agony of PTSD would haunt Cannon, and a diagnosis of Seminoma Cancer. There was a surgery and six weeks of treatment just this year. If anyone could make a good argument for Depression, it was an argument Cannon was ready to make.

Until sitting at a bar one night and meeting Jared Ogden, founder and CEO of a 501(c)(3) called the Phoenix Patriot Foundation and a member of the cast of National Geographic Channel’s “Ultimate Survival Alaska.” Funny how the right people turn up at just the right moment in your life. Learning of Will’s military background, Jared talked him into joining a group Ogden was putting together that was planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, in East Africa.

Two former Navy SEALS are in the group, Bo Reichenbach and Dan Cnossen, both double amputees, both from IED’s, who will make the trek with the assistance of robot prosthetics. Top Outdoor expert Sean Burch, also a cast member on “Ultimate Survival Alaska,” will lead the group up by way of the Machame route.

“Dan said ‘Jared, I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on my own two legs. And I want to show the guys that set up that bomb that they can’t stop me, and I also want to show other service members and other Americans with disabilities that they can do anything,’” Jared remembers in his conversation with KTRH News. That brings us to the Houston Benefit for Mount Kilimanjaro.

This is where you come in. Saturday, April 5 a fundraiser will be hosted at the Houston Club, One Shell Plaza, 49th Floor, 910 Louisiana Street, from 6-10pm. You are invited. Drinks are free for the first hour. The amazing work that Jared Ogden and his associates at Phoenix Patriot Foundation is worth your consideration, and the challenges that lie ahead for the former military service members are worthy of your respect.

Houston native Will Cannon says no one was aware of the demons he was battling when he signed on for the project, and they didn’t become fully aware to him until he began focusing on his diet, physical and mental stamina, and the goals that would be required to make it to the top of the mountain. His advice for returning service members – focus on the most important things: family, friends and faith.

“So they can show the world, their family, the enemy, you may have nicked me, but I’m gonna keep on chuggin’, keep on moving. So just keep focused on something else, something other than your problems, something bigger than yourself,” Cannon says.

Climbing the mountains life throws in your path – takes family, friends and faith.

Click for original article on KTRH website.