Forest Lake father climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro for cystic fibrosis - FOX 35 News Orlando

Forest Lake father climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro for cystic fibrosis cure

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Each year, the Climbing for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis event brings many to scale the IDS building's 50 stories, but one father went way above and beyond after his son was diagnosed.

Like most fathers, Dennis Forster will do anything for his son -- including risk his own life.

On Thursday night, Forster returned from the trip of a lifetime, but he said it wouldn't have happened without his own diagnosis of a crippling disease.

"It's the world's tallest free-standing mountain, and this was my goal since I was a little kid," he told FOX 9 News.

Forster scaled 19,341 feet to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and he did it with the complications that multiple sclerosis brings along.

"I was going to enjoy every step, whether it was a good step or a bad step -- whether I was in pain or I was happy," he said. "I enjoyed every aspect of it."

Forster decided to go to Africa to make the climb after being diagnosed last year.

"I knew if I wanted to get anything done, I had to do get it done as soon as possible," he said.

So, with his left leg numb from the shin down, he tackled the feat before him -- but it wasn't just for his own sake. It was also for his son, Christian, who is an aspiring musician and was born with cystic fibrosis.

"Every time I take a step, it's pins and needles. I probably cried the last 200 meters," Forster recalled.

Yet, Forster said he was able to fight through the campaign because he knew he had a lot support back home, including those who donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the climb.

"Knowing he is risking his life to better mine is pretty fantastic," Christian Forster told FOX 9 News."I'm pretty proud of him."

Christian Forster spends an hour each day in lung therapy, and his father's recent accomplishment is pushing him to look at his own boundaries in search of a challenge too.

"If he can climb 19,000 feet with a numb body, I'm pretty sure I can run 100 yards with a lung disease," he said. "He inspires me."

On top of the inspiration, Dennis Forster raised $17,000 locally and $100,000 nationally to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

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