Disabled Sports USA & Challenged Athletes Foundation Sponsor First All Amputee Team to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Team Missing Parts in Action, Comprised of Three American Service Men Injured in Combat, Tackle 19,340 Foot Climb to Raise Awareness and Inspire Athletes with Disabilities

Rockville, MD—July 26, 2010— Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), one of the largest sporting organizations for people with physical disabilities, in partnership with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, announced it is sponsoring Team Missing Parts in Action’s climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa on August 2.

The three climbers are from three wars: Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam. Two are double leg amputees and one a single above knee amputee, leaving literally "one good leg between the three" to climb the tallest mountain in Africa. Sgt. Neil Duncan, 27-years-old, a double leg amputee injured in Afghanistan; Staff Sgt. Dan Nevins, 39-years-old, a double below knee amputee injured in Iraq; and Sgt. Kirk Bauer, JD, 62-years-old, a single above knee amputee injured in Vietnam comprise the team.

Team Missing Parts in Action is part of DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports Series, a schedule of challenge events that help military service members with permanent disabilities, such as amputated limbs, spinal cord injury, visual impairment or traumatic brain injury, train for and challenge themselves in extreme and endurance sports.

“After serving thousands of severely injured service members from Iraq and Afghanistan through rehabilitation sports programs for the past seven years, our disabled veterans are now yearning for an opportunity to test their skills to the extreme, as they did in the military," said DSUSA Executive Director Kirk Bauer, JD. "Our Warfighter Sports Series provides this. They can now literally climb the tallest mountains in the world to challenge themselves and inspire others with disabilities to become active and reach new heights.”

“In 2009, I attempted a solo climb of Kilimanjaro but failed to reach the summit," said Sgt. Duncan. "Since coming off the mountain, I was determined to achieve my goal and trained diligently to prepare for this climb. As a team, I know we can make it. For me this is about more than climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, it is about proving to myself, and others with disabilities, that DSUSA's motto works, "If I can do this, I can do anything!”

Guided by Nickson Moshi, the climb will begin on August 2 and the team plans to ascend and descend the mountain in ten days or less. Moshi, owner of Massai Giraffe Safari, previously led blind climber Erik Weihenmayer up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“I’m very impressed by the upcoming DSUSA Kilimanjaro climb comprising an all wounded warrior team of leg amputees,” said Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind climber to summit Mt. Everest. “This climb is an important part of the rehabilitation process, sends a powerful message to the world about what is possible, and is a dramatic symbol of climbing to new heights and making an impact in the world after life-changing injuries.”

“Challenged Athletes Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals with physical challenges who desire to live active, competitive lifestyles by giving them every opportunity to compete in the sports they love,” said Nico Marcolongo, CAF Operation Rebound Program Manager. “We see our partnership with Disabled Sports USA in the Warfighter Sports Series as empowering our wounded warriors to live out their love of sport and competition.”

You can follow Team Missing Parts in Action’s progress, view photos and make donations to the organization at www.warfightersports.org. Also a Facebook Causes page has been set up at http://www.causes.com/causes/508185?recruiter_id=112559622 for support and donations.

The event will be chronicled by award-winning photographer Reed Hoffman, through a grant from Microsoft Imaging. Another key supporter of the climb is Health Net, a medical services provider.

Other Corporations and Foundations that have provided substantial funding to help Disabled Sports USA provide much needed sports rehabilitation programs for severely injured service members are: U.S. Paralympics, DSUSA National Partner; The Hartford Insurance, Ariel Corporation, The Chart Group, Non Commissioned Officers Association National Defense Foundation, No Bats Baseball Club, Oshkosh Defense, PING, Tee it up for the Troops, Trijicon, and Anthem Life.

About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA provides national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DSUSA offers programs through its nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters operating in 38 states. For schedules and additional information, visit www.dsusa.org or call (301) 217-9840.

About Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $25 million has been raised and almost 4,500 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, log on to www.challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.