Raleigh father, son set off for Kilimanjaro climb
Posted July 6, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Charlie Ramquist, 11, and his father Neil, left Raleigh-Durham International Airport Sunday for trip they hope will change their own lives and the lives of others who, like Charlie, have eosinophilic esophagitis.
The little-known condition makes it hard for Charlie to eat normal foods. He can tolerate just nine things: quinoa, tomatoes, honey, chicken, turkey, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. Most of his nutrition comes from a special beverage.
Despite his disease and difficulties, Charlie is set on climbing with his father to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
They expect the trek up Africa’s highest mountain will bring awareness to eosinophilic esophagitis, raise money for research and enhance their bond.
“I’m working a lot in Africa, but when I'm home I'm making sure that we exercise together, go hiking together, and just spend time together preparing for this journey,” said Neil Ramquist.
Charlie will be among 30 climbers making the trip, including five from North Carolina.
“I think it will be fun to meet other people with the disease and just be friends,” he said.