Paralyzed Montana Woman Back From Climbing Kilimanjaro
We caught up with Starla Hilliard-Barnes back in December. That was before the former Miss Wheelchair Montana was set to take off for Tanzania, Africa. The twice paralyzed Kalispell woman is now back after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Starla joined us on Thursday's Montana Talks statewide radio show to talk about the climb, how she made it to the top, and the most important thing she learned during the trip. Check out the full audio below:
I got the opportunity to meet Starla Barnes and her family in the Flathead Valley around the time when she was named Miss Wheelchair Montana. What a remarkable young woman and family.
Imagine being paralyzed, unable to walk- but then regaining the ability to walk, just to lose that ability all over again. Not only has Starla stayed positive through it all, she's helped so many others in the process. And now she is literally climbing to new heights.
Coming up in late January 2020, Starla and her husband will travel to New York City before flying to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Starla had this to say on her GoFundMe page to help raise money for the trek:
Hello my name is Starla Hilliard-Barnes a twice paralyzed paraplegic that is ready to climb Kilimanjaro. It has been my dream since a young child. I thought it was impossible after being paralyzed until recently. I will be joining the February trip. I am a wife, mother and founder of Moving Forward Adaptive Sports and Gifts of Love. Bringing free Adaptive sports to our veterans and differently able in the Flathead!
We caught up with Starla on Wednesday morning, ahead of a fundraiser for her trip taking place at Cold Stone Creamery in Kalispell. She talked about her recovery, the trip, and how you support her in the climb. Click below for audio, and click here to donate.
Also, here's a video from back in 2014 as Starla tells her story: