KUSA - Turner Liotta, 9, and his dad David took off for the summit of Mount Elbert in Colorado Sunday morning. It’s the 13th state in which the pair reached the highest peak.
“It just popped into my head. I don’t know how, it just did,” said Turner of how he got the idea. “I like climbing a lot. It’s super fun and I get to see nature and hang out with my family. And for cancer research, too.”
Turner’s dad and step-mom have a passion for hiking. When David was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he got very serious about spending more time with his family. So, they decided to try and turn Turner’s dream into a reality, knowing he’d enjoy every minute of it too.
“What better way for us, for me, to show people that you can have a normal life afterwards than spending time with my family and being out in nature,” said David, now cancer free.
The two recently battled a hailstorm in Nebraska. Turner slept through a Midwest earthquake in Kansas. And after Colorado they’ll have 37 states to go.
“I think what we are doing is more raising awareness for Leukemia lymphoma,” David said.
“Yeah. And help other people too. So they don’t have to lose a family member or anything like that. And keep them alive! So that’s what I am doing it for,” said a hopeful Turner.
The ultimate goal is to beat the previous world record for climbing the highest peak in 50 states. Turner would also be the youngest. The current record (43 days) is held by Boulder resident Matt Moniz who accomplished the feat at the age of 12.
“I don’t take anything for granted anymore. Every day is very important. Every day is special,” David said.
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