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A Challenge to Overcome

EFFINGHAM -- He's what some people would call "crazy," but Kyle Packer doesn't mind.
EFFINGHAM -- He's what some people would call "crazy," but Kyle Packer doesn't mind. The 56-year old from Our Town Effingham is proving anything is possible if you try. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds out what makes Kyle special.
    He has cerebral palsy. You would think he might live a limited life, but Packer doesn't let anything get in the way of his need for speed.    
    "Well, it has its good days and it has its bad days, but I think I've made most of them good."
    And, most would agree. He's reaching new heights even though he has a disability.
    "I think I got more out of going for it than sitting back and, ya know, letting life pass me by."
    "It's just crazy being his son. Honestly, it's nice."
    That's because Kyle Packer seeks every adventure he can find. Things like whitewater rafting and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
    "The Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG) turned it around. They did stuff that I, growing up, was told I would never do. Like whitewater rafting, skiing, mountain climbing. You name it, they tried to do it."
    "It's cool having your dad be captain of the boat and knowing how to run the river, being able to teach me."
    One trip sticks out in Packer's memory.
    "In 1998, I was asked to be part of the first disabled truck into base camp on Mt. Everest."
    That's about 17,500 ft high. They were supposed to ride horses to the top, but the animals were rowdy.
    "I piggy-backed onto the Sherpa to our next camp. They put two baskets together and then cut a "u" in the front, put hay down in the bottom and attached a rope to the back of it, and that rope went across their forehead."
    It's proof Packer is living life with no regrets.
    "I don't know where I would be without that influence on my life, and it just, I wouldn't have been skiing at the age of 2-1/2. I probably never would have gone whitewater rafting. If you never try, how will you ever know?"
    You can see some of Packer's adventures for yourself. A documentary was made about his life called "An Uphill Climb."
    He also plans to head back to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Packer says he didn't make it up the entire way the first time, but this time he will.
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