The Teen Climbs The World’s Biggest Mountains To Help Millions Of Boys Affected By This Disease

"I have been blessed with my ability to climb."

One teenage boy has taken a huge step in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

After seeing a boy disabled by the degenerative muscle disorder, Tyler Armstrong, who was 7 years old at the time, made the decision to climb to the top of the world if it meant it would help find a cure.

"When I was at a [barbecue,] I met a boy with Duchenne. He was not able to run around and play with the other kids," Tyler told A Plus. "The boys with Duchenne don't have the same opportunities that I do, but I have been blessed with my ability to climb. So why not use my gift to help others?"  

The now 13-year-old mountain climber has scaled some of the world's highest peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mount Elbrus (Russia), and Mount Aconcagua (Argentina). His epic climbs aim to raise awareness and funding for research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which typically only affects boys, though some girls carry the gene.

"Recently, some of the funds I have raised went to assist in new research," said Tyler, whose story is featured in a new clip from 60 Second Docs. "A trial drug was recently approved that will help a small portion of the boys. There are so many different types of Duchenne, so more research is needed."

And more climbing.



Courtesy of 60 Second Docs

Tyler is now working towards completing the highest peaks on the seven continents, which are collectively nicknamed "The Seven Summits." So far, he's raised $30,000 by completing five of the seven highest mountains with two still to go: Mount Vinson Massif (Antarctica) and Mount Everest (Nepal).

At 13, Tyler has his own challenges to face as he is deemed too young to climb Mount Everest.

60 Second Docs posed the question, "With age limits to taking on Mount Everest for safety reasons, should Tyler be permitted to climb Everest?" And the responses were on both sides of the spectrum.

Some warned that "much more experienced and talented climbers have perished on Everest," while others simply applauded Tyler's efforts and the desire to make a difference.

"So inspiring!" one woman wrote. "I'm a Duchenne mom and this video made me cry. Thank you."  

"I know that we will be able to cure Duchenne someday," Tyler told A Plus. "Hopefully, the boys with Duchenne will be able to climb mountains with me in the future."

See more of Tyler's story in the video below:

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