Te Waha Nui report by Tim Wakely
A 22-year-old man with cerebral palsy has set himself the challenge of climbing the stairs of Auckland’s Sky Tower.
Jordon Milroy, a student at AUT University, plans to climb the 1029 steps of the towering Auckland icon on May 17 to help promote disability awareness.
“People are amazed that a person with cerebral palsy will be climbing the stairs of the Sky Tower. For me it’s all about the goal and achieving it,” he says.
To train for the challenge, Milroy climbs 14 flights of stairs at his student apartment once a day.
He has a bigger ambition as well – to raise funds to purchase “rugged wheelchairs” designed for harder terrain.
He hopes to raise enough money to bring these specialised wheelchairs back to disabled people in his home of Samoa.
Milroy says in Samoa the facilities are “not there to cater for someone like me”.
Over the past eight months he has gained a lot of support from the public through his Facebook page, Jordon’s Climb for Awareness. He is surprised at the amount of support he has received from the public. The page currently sits at 2068 “likes”.
The general manager of the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand, Harvey Bruntmanis, believes that with the right training Milroy’s Sky Tower goal is achievable. “He has got a fair battle ahead. He’s determined, as he wants to show that on the surface it may be hard, but you can give it a go.”
Milroy believes the biggest challenge isn’t the climb, it’s the obligatory bungy jump at the end. “I’m scared, man, because you can’t practise for a bungy jump.”