So Xia Boyu took one step at a time on his way back to a wheelchair-free life. Every working day he cycled a 32-kilometer roundtrip to work. On weekends, he'd go hiking in the mountains. The tours became increasingly demanding and Xia Boyu was getting faster, walking with his prostheses. He felt happiest in the mountains of all places, although the rough nature had cost him both lower legs.
However, mountaineering with prostheses brought completely new challenges: not only do the stiff prostheses and the poles severely restrict mobility, but the grip on the ground is also much worse than on nimble and flexible feet. Since Xia Boyu cannot feel the ground with his feet, he depends solely on his eyes when assessing the stability of the ground. Several times he accidentally jammed a prosthesis and had to be freed by a companion. If he loses a prosthesis, it would almost be impossible to reattach it to the swollen leg stumps in the mountains.
"It became my life's dream to climb Mount Everest. I promised myself that I would try until my last breath," says Xia Boyu. On the way to fulfilling his great dream, however, fate brought further ordeal his way. Xia Boyu was suffering from lymphoma: "The doctor told me: 'You will never stand up there'. And I told myself I'd never give up. "He recovered and sold his apartment and car to fulfill his big dream. In contrast to the glamorous stars of the climbing scene, Xia Boyu has no support from big sponsors.
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