Former Ravens' LB Ray Lewis planned to go on a trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise money and awareness for clean water projects in Africa. As Lewis did go to help raise awareness, his main goal has come to a screeching stop.
Ray Lewis and his crew planned to start the climb on Wednesday, July 3rd, but Lewis could not start the climb on Wednesday, due to an illness and a foot injury.
TackleKili, the organization Lewis has been working with, issued a statement on tacklekili.lockerdome.com regarding Lewis and his issues:
"An Amazing Team Rallies, As Its Leader Inspires Otherwise Having spent the day on his feet seeing patient after patient as part of the Starkey Hearing Mission, which coincided with TackleKili’s arrival in Tanzania, by evening Ray knew something was wrong. A fever spiked and his foot, which had been injured and re-injured during his 17 year career, began to swell. This was not good. In the end, Ray’s decision was to let the team move on without him, rather than hold them back or put himself in a position where an injury which requires surgery could become even more complicated. As always, his team backed his play. So while Ray re-focused his service to this cause at a lower altitude, his team began the ascent on behalf of those in desperate need of clean water. Beginning with a compelling video update, view in words and pictures our efforts from Climb Day One."
Ray Lewis had been getting injured the last few years of his football career with the Ravens, and it seems like his health issues have continued after retirement. Unfortunately, Ray was unable to make the climb that everyone was hoping to hear about, but he did great things in Tanzania, even without the climb.
Lewis and the rest of the TackleKili crew met with families in Tanzania, gave autographs to kids, raised money and awareness for clean water, and have even began digging for a clean water source in Tanzania. The entire crew has helped out the families in Tanzania already, as they will continue to do so as they get further into their climb.
The TackleKili crew is around 11,800 feet in the air at this very moment, as it is projected they will reach the summit in three or four days.
Ray Lewis has a good heart, as every Ravens fan knows, and would never pass up on a chance to impact families, especially those in terrible need of such an important resource.
It will be exciting to see how much the entire mission has impacted East Africa once it is all said and done. As for now, we can all just wait and see what the end result is.
After hearing the news, former Ravens' C Matt Birk tweeted this:
"Come on @raylewis! Don't give up, don't ever give up. You'd have played vs the Steelers. Retirement has made you soft!"
It's fun to see that two former teammates can still joke around with each other, especially about a topic like this.
Ray Lewis is a good man with a great heart and an even better drive to make the world a better place. Even though he wasn't able to make the climb, he still worked hard in Africa for the best few weeks to try and make it a much better environment. I send my thanks to Ray, as you guys should do the same!
We still love you, Ray! Thank you for all your hard work in East Africa!
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED...
Go to: tacklekili.lockerdome.com to keep up with the climb, see exclusive pictures and videos of Ray helping Africa, and to donate money and support the project!