Climber with Cerebral Palsy to Summit Kilimanjaro

Having cerebral palsy isn’t stopping Phil Berenz from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro — in fact, it’s what’s inspiring him to attempt the summit. If successful, Berenz will be the third person with cerebral palsy to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain.

The 28-year-old Berenz, born two and one-half months prematurely, developed cerebral palsy. This is a neurological condition that affects coordination and muscle movement. However, at age 8, Berenz had innovative surgery to elongate his calf muscles. This has allowed him to be active: playing basketball, hiking, rock climbing, and hiking.

Now Berenz is planning to climb the 19,341 foot mountain in Tanzania, Africa. This will allow him to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy, as this story in the BU Today school Web site reports. “A lot of people think cerebral palsy is a disease,” says Berenz, who works in tech support at Boston University. “It’s actually a group of chronic conditions. It’s not something that you can cure, but something that you try to manage.”

Berenz is planning the journey with three other friends and coworkers from BU’s information and technology services department. The group’s goal is to raise $30,000 for the Boston chapter of United Cerebral Palsy, a nationwide cerebral palsy support and advocacy organization.

“I want this climb to raise both awareness and money for people living with cerebral palsy,” says Berenz. “Today I’m in a place where I feel secure. I’ve had great therapy and a surgery that made it easier for me to walk, and now I want to go help others.”

If your child has suffered a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, call a nurse case manager at Sokolove Law today. Your nurse case manager will listen to your story and help you explore your options, which may include pursuing a lawsuit. There is no cost to you for us to represent you and your family in a birth injury lawsuit. Sokolove only gets paid if you receive money from your case.

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