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Bobby Bajram - Extreme athlete with (dis)ability!

20 Apr 2017

Bobby is the youngest person to ever be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) here in Australia and at the age of 13, he was legally blind and in a wheelchair.

Despite living with this disease, Bobby is incredibly dedicated and is now on a mission to open peoples minds to the possibilities available to those who are living with disabilities. In hopes of achieving this, Bobby has set himself the incredible task of reaching the peak of Mt Everest to prove that MS does not dictate his life. In the process, he hopes to raise a huge amount of disability awareness, as well as encouraging those living with disabilities to take action in order to improve their lives.

Bobby will face an array of challenges aside from his MS in order to complete his goal, including altitude sickness, extreme temperatures and unpredictable weather. As a result of his condition, Bobby is also at an increased risks of falls, which is one of the most common attributors to injury or death on Everest, not to mention the possibility of avalanches. All of this is enough to deter most able bodied people, however Bobby is refusing to let anything get in the way of achieving his dream.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system, affecting nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Over 23,000 people in Australia, and more than two million people worldwide, have been diagnosed with the disease. There is currently no known cure for MS, however there are a number of treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slower the progression of the disease. MS symptoms are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the central nervous system is affected and to what degree. No two cases of MS are the same and symptoms, depending on where MS lesions develop on the brain and spinal cord, can manifest in many different ways.

The symptoms can be any combination of the five major health problems, including: motor control - muscular spasms and problems with weakness, coordination, balance and functioning of the arms and legs, fatigue - including sensitivity to heat, neurological symptoms - including vertigo, pins and needles and visual disturbances, continence problems - including bladder incontinence and constipation and neuropsychological symptoms - including memory loss, depression and cognitive difficulties.

Bobby is the youngest person to ever be diagnoses with Multiple Sclerosis here in Australia and at the age of 13, he was legally blind and in a wheelchair. Through years of rehabilitation, Bobby has defied all odds and has now learned how to live with the disease while still making the most of life.


Despite all his training and rehabilitation, Bobby still experiences relapses and has many hard days which result in a loss of vision and his body shutting down, resulting in a return to wheelchair reliance for the duration. However, this does not deter Bobby, and if anything, makes him stronger and more focused. Bobby wants to send a message to all those with a disability that says "Just have a go, and you are a winner!", and believes that if you do your best, you may surprise yourself with what you can achieve! Sending this message is what keeps Bobby going through the hard days, and what pushes him to give his all on his good days.

The training required for Bobby's goal is rigorous to say the least, and as a result, he has experienced numerous set backs over the last few years in preparation for the hike. Even while training in the Victorian Alps over Summer, Bobby suffered symptoms of an MS attack, which was poised to set back his training timeline. However, he managed to overcome this and eventually climbed Mt Kala Patthar in 2014 as a part of his training in preparation for Mt Everest. Clutching the Australian flag in one hand and Nepal’s in the other, Bobby Bajram was filled with emotion as he reached the summit of Kala Patthar. From the peak, he could see Everest – so near and yet a daunting 3,500 metres above the extraordinary achievement he had just accomplished.

Since climbing Kala Patthar, Bobby's training routine has continued to progress. Currently Bobby trains five days a week at Fitness First with a personal trainer. His program includes sled training for endurance and weight training for strength. Bobby also spends time in a climate room to help his body acclimatise to the kind of weather he will endure whilst on Everest and one week every month, Bobby heads to Falls Creek to train on the surrounding mountains. All up, Bobby spends approximately 32 hours each week training and preparing his body for the challenges he is yet to face.

"I use the awesome Recover Sports Medicine team to help me get to the top of Mt Everest and down again. I am leaving Melbourne on the 20th of August for my trip and plan to start climbing the mountain on the 2nd of September. It will take me at least 7 days to hike to the top and another 7 to come back down again. To help me with my preparation for this adventure, I have been seeing the team at Recover Sports Medicine for regular myotherapy treatments. They do a fantastic job, and without those appointments I would be crippled and unable to go anywhere or do anything. Recover Sports Medicine is one of the key aspects of my training towards getting to the top of Mt Everest, and I feel very lucky to be sponsored by them!"

Bobby heads to Nepal on August 20th, and will spend the following couple of weeks climatising and going up and down smaller mountains in preparation for "The Big One". The official start date of the climb up Mt Everest is currently set for September 2nd. Bobby is hoping that by scaling the largest mountain on earth, he will be able to raise money and awareness for both people living with disabilities, and their carers.

Once Bobby has returned from his great climb, he does not plan to retire as the world's most extreme athlete with a disability. Bobby has plans to see that he continues to live a life of achieving the unachievable, while spreading a message of hope, courage and strength to everyone, not just those who are differently abled.

If you wish to help support Bobby on his amazing journey, please head over to his website http://bobbybajram.com/

GO BOBBY!
Team RSM

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