Reaching New Heights with Chronic Illness
by Rob Besecker
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From the time Rob Besecker was a little boy, he was strong. The youngest child in a dysfunctional family, he threw himself into sports at a young age—and found he excelled at them. Athletics became his world, and by his junior year, his mailbox was stuffed with scholarship offers from university football programs from across the US. And then his body started to unravel—and everything changed.
First, Rob fractured his back, ending his college football career before it could even begin. Next, at twenty-six, he began to experience life-threatening heart issues. By twenty-nine, he needed surgery to implant a defibrillator/pacemaker device. Then, when he began to experience aches and fatigue that even his faulty heart couldn’t account for, he discovered he had rare form of muscular dystrophy.
With each new health challenge, Rob was devastated—but not defeated. He had always been strong, and he refused to let his ailing body limit his existence. So he set out to see what he could do—and as he neared forty, he set his sights on the challenge of a lifetime: hiking to the base camp of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.