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— "The day I went to pick up the brochure," Galli says, "there was a woman at the shop who kept staring at me. Finally, she came up to me and asked where I got the tray that fits onto the front of my wheelchair. We started talking, and I told her that I planned to be the first person on a ventilator to climb a mountain. She told me that she had a 17-year-old son who'd been paralyzed in a surfing accident. She said he never wanted to leave the house, never wanted to see anyone. She asked me if I'd come and talk to him, to encourage him. I told her I'd be happy to. I gave her my phone number. But she never called. I know so many disabled people who just give up."

Galli plans to climb a portion of the Sierra Nevada range in mid-July. Because of his ventilator, he probably won't be able to ascend beyond seven or eight thousand feet. A few months ago while McCann and Galli were searching for a potential site for their climb, they drove through Sonora, California, not far from Yosemite.

"We came up over a hill and before us was this enormous valley. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. Trees as far as you could see, all the way to the horizon. I could have stared at it for days. The entire valley was filled with green, and I was filled with this incredible sense of peace.

"I hope to find that feeling again at the summit of my climb. Looking out, seeing green forever. All that nature. Everything's right. Everything's as it should be. Everything's perfect and peaceful. Not a care in the world."

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