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Growing up in central Wisconsin is synonymous with growing up on flat ground and in oxygen-rich air. At age sixteen I faced my first uphill climb; the emotional battle of coping with the loss of my father. At thirty-six years of age Hodgkin's Lymphoma claimed his life. His death was a wake-up call for me that life can be short. Eleven years later, I became a father. The day occurred six weeks earlier than expected. The fragility of life was once again revealing itself. During my premature son's hospital stay I picked up a book about Mount Everest. Although I had never climbed before, my dream to stand on top of the world was sparked within after reading that book. I didn't exactly know how or when but I knew that I would go to that mountain. Within all of us resides a vision, a defined quest in life. It is a unique purpose, waiting to be unlocked. Twelve years after my vision occurred, I became one of less than four thousand people in the world to reach its highest point.