Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On Top of the World!!!

Super Seven!
December 19, 2013 - We can finally celebrate!!!!  Woohoo!!  After a long and challenging journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro, they've finally made it to Uhuru Peak.  We received word at 2:14 am EST and most of us were restlessly awaiting some type of communication after not hearing from the group for the entire day!   

They described it as an emotional and overwhelming experience to accomplish such a great feat in honor of such a personal cause.  Once they reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, they placed Yash's little Elmo in the wooden box where everyone leaves their journals of the climb.  They also held up a Yash Gandhi Foundation banner as they took their pictures together.  It's important to note that only half the people who attempt to reach the top of the world's highest free-standing mountain actually accomplish this goal.  It is not an easy climb.  

We learned late in the day that Swetal made it just short of the peak because of trouble breathing, but he listened to his body and recognized his limits, so we're glad that he's safe and was able to make most of the amazing journey with the family.  We are so proud of the entire team!  They trained for more than six months, they climbed for six days but the feeling they have today and the pride they've instilled in all of us will last a lifetime!   Congrats Team Kili!  

Ashesh - After the grueling climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro there were so many things going through in my head, but most important was the fact that Team Kili set out to accomplish a mission for raising awareness of I-cell and raising research funds without even blinking an eye. They left their family members to be part of this important cause, and for that I'm extremely grateful and proud to be part of team Kili. Being at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro was quite emotional for me and the rest of the team. With every step I took, I felt Yash telling me, "Go Papa," and along with the inspirational messages from Kavi, friends and family, it helped me tremendously to reach the peak. As we unfurled the Yash Gandhi foundation banner at the summit, it did not even phase me that we were at an altitude of 20,000 feet with heavy winds and snow. I felt the raw emotion of being so happy and so proud of our accomplishment and knowing that all kids with I-cell were rooting for us. My eyes were filled with frozen tears as I placed Yash's little Elmo in the momento box at the summit. I'm extremely grateful to Team Kili for putting their lives on hold to raise money for an important cause and to all our friends and family who have been so supportive and encouraging all the way. Thank you!!!

Pritesh - From my perspective - For those that state that Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, I beg to differ.  The climb tests your will power, drive and motivation from Day 1.  Day 2 is all about mind over body and the summit climb is pure anxiety and thrill!

Ruchir - Exhilarating, but at the same time the most difficult thing one can accomplish!

Achal - The most beautiful trek that I have ever soon! 

Ronak - Every hike seemed never ending but we all built a memorable bond with each other!

 Message from Kavi

Message from Sonal - I will never forget the moment I reached out to my phone at 2:14am, and read that they reached Uhuru Peak safely. It was a moment that is so difficult to describe.  Tears just came rolling down my eyes.  I was so happy that they reached there so safely.  It was an incredible proud moment.  I just could feel Yash’s presence with me.  Him clapping his hands with joy and often as he did when he loved what you did, screaming “AGAIN!” (LOL, I don’t think that is happening.)
As we congratulate the climbers, there are seven very important people who have been part of this incredible journey. Simran, Khush, Sia, Kavi, Niaya, Krishani and Milani.
For months they have watched their dads train for the climb, spending so much time buying all their gear, and as a result, giving up spending some time with their dad.  For the last week, each morning and afternoon, they ask how is their dads and uncles are doing.  Each time they get the update - they reached base camp - it had been a excitement and proud moment for them.  They have been sending notes of encouragement to the climbers even before they started their journey.  I am just proud of these young kiddos.  
All of our parents have also been cheering the team on, offering words of encouragement, knitting sweaters, saying prayers and having faith their they would make it.  Mahesh Mamma has been keeping up with the team on What's App, Niranjan kaka and my father-in-law Jitendra bhai have been posting on Facebook and Nital's dad has been doing Hanuman Chalisa several times a day.
Finally, our cousin Hetal has been spending countless hours, pulling all the updates we have been getting from the team, and entering them in the blog, so each of you can follow their journey. We hope you enjoyed this amazing life experience with us!!  We may be strong as individuals but together we are invincible

Message from Khush

Message from Dilpa - Congrats again!  The kids and I are super excited for you all.  I know you all worked very hard for this.  This is a very important accomplishment and a major milestone in your life.  I know how proud Yash was to have you in his life and he is smiling really big today.  Everyone did such a terrific job.  Be careful going down the mountain.

Message from Sia

Message from Simran

Message from Nital - Kili 7 – You have reached your goal!!!!! We could not be prouder of you.  For last 8 months, you have worked very hard to get here.  For past 7 days, you have put your life on hold – be it being with your families, friends, work, residency applications, holiday-parties……and today is your day! A heartfelt Congratulations to you all! Feel the pride, enjoy the moment, and know that Yash is smiling at you.  Your dedication and perseverance are inspirations to all of us! Thank you and we can’t wait to see you!

Message from Krishani

Message from Sheetal - As I read the blog today and read the messages and posts, I had tears in my eyes. What an ACCOMPLISHMENT from the trekkers! You guys did an amazing job. We are sure that this was no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. All of us at home can't really even begin to imagine it, but we are so glad that you all did this with family and will be able to relate and share the stories. We can't wait to hear the stories and see all the pics and videos. We are so truly proud of your HUGE physical, mental, emotional accomplishments. We hope that you are all doing well. Hopefully you can breathe a huge sigh of relief (with lots of O2) and  relax and enjoy the rest of the "fun" part of your trip.
Thanks to Hetal, Sonal, and Nital for keeping us posted and up to date via texts, calls, and blogs. It was amazing to share the experience with all.


  1. Good job guys! Now that you have conquered Kili, you can do anything!

    Which means when you go back to the real world, no excuse in not cleaning the dirty dishes!

  2. Allison Goldberg18 December, 2012 10:16

    So excited for you all and happy you are all safe. Enjoy the trip down! Can't wait to hear all about this adventure when you return.

  3. Congratulations! I'm so excited to hear about your trip/climb and I'm glad you guys are all safe. Hope to see you soon.


  4. Simply the best. Congratulations!

  5. an absolutely inspirational effort guys, so proud of you all! savour these moments!

  6. Congrats and Cherish the moments
    Enjoy your trip back

  7. Congratulations all..have a good trek down and for the rest of your vacationpriya

  8. Amazing !! Cannot wait to see pics and hear all about this adventurous journey!


  9. Congratulations, Swetal. I am glad all of them made it safe. Would love to see you guys sometimes so we can hear about his journey. Beautiful article that your sister wrote. Good luck Gandhi Foundation. I am sure Yash must be doing happy soul dancing. Take care.


  10. Congrats on a wonderful journey for your family. I know it meant a lot to them. What an amazing experience.


  11. I am so impressed by this whole journey and all the details-can't wait to hear more in person! Very thankful that Swetal and his comrades are well!



  12. What an amazing journey ! Happy to hear Swetal is well. Great job to all climbers !


  13. So happy to hear he is well and their journey is complete. Great job to all climbers for even having the ambition to do this. Have a wonderful holiday season and safe travels for them coming back home.


  14. That really is amazing!! What a journey. Congrats!!


  15. Just amazing trip of a lifetime. Cannot wait to hear all about. Eager to see the pictures

    Anika Goel Comar

  16. Congratulations everyone! So Swetal was it harder the climbing the mountain or watching the Jags on Sundays? By the way, they lost again this past Sunday.