“When I lost my foot, I put two feet on the ground.”
Kathy Pico, an Ecuadorian native, lost her leg to cancer at age 38. Reassessing her life’s value, Kathy turned to alpinism.
“I decided that if I had another opportunity, I wouldn’t waste it,” she said. “During the second chemotherapy, I decided to amputate my leg. This night I cried a lot. It pained me to lose a part of my body, but I decided that this was the last day I was going to cry for something I wasn’t going to have.”
On July 28, 2017, Kathy attempted to summit Cayambe–Ecuador’s third tallest volcano at 18,996 feet–alongside Chad Jukes, a world-class mountaineer and wounded warrior, and the Range of Motion Project (ROMP), a nonprofit that provides high-quality prosthetic care in underserved populations.
“Thanks to ROMP, we’ve gathered a group of Ecuadorian and North American amputees to deliver the message that with technology, we can reach mountaintops,” Kathy said.
La Cumbre (The Summit) explores what it means to live as an amputee in the developing world and the power of pursuing things once believed impossible.
“People who go to the mountain, consciously or subconsciously, go because we are trying to find where we come from, and the mountain never disappoints you.”