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Danny Shoemaker will climb Mount Kilimanjaro

9:51 PM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

St. Louis (KSDK) - In the King Bee building in downtown St. Louis, the elevator is working just fine. But you wouldn't know it if you followed Danny Shoemaker.

"It's 77 stairs all the way to the top," said Shoemaker.

During breaks at work, the 58-year-old former Air Force Lieutenant puts on his back pack and climbs ten stories at least twice every day.

"And I've now climbed 17,700 stairs which is basically 100 times up and down," he said.

Though he will sometimes be out of breath, his wife Susan is never out of his mind.

"She was an awesome person," said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker lost Susan to cancer in 2005, the same year he lost his mom. Ever since then he says he's been a little lost.

"I needed more of a mission in life other than just going to work and doing the routine things," he said.

Then late last year, he found the "Survivor Summit," an expedition to raise money for Livestrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And later this week, he is traveling to Africa to join a group of adventurers that will climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

"Danny is a guy with a big heart and a lot of motivation," explained co-worker Joy Vance.

To join the trip, Danny pledged to raise $10,000 for Livestrong which helps support cancer survivors. Thanks in large part though to his co-workers at software developer Asynchrony Solutions, the pledge money is up to $15,000.

"I think the great thing about Danny is that he never really asks for support. I think people just stood up beside him without him having to ask," said Asynchrony Solutions founder Bob Elfanbaum.

Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, nearly 20,000 feet above sea level. He knows the journey will be a team effort-the other adventurers and his wife Susan.

"I know she will be helping me get there," he said. "I need help from her and my mom."

Danny Shoemaker says we all have our own mountains to climb and he knows the only way to the top is taking it, one step at a time.

For more information about the climb, visit Shoemaker's page on the Livestrong website.


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