Carmel resident and Iraq veteran Eric Donoho was recently asked to photograph a trek through the Himalayas organized by Mountain Vision, a company started by Jeff Evans. Evans is the climbing partner of Erik Weihenmayer the only blind person to scale Mt. Everest.
Part of the trip included a humanitarian effort at the Center for Disabled Children Assistance in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many of the children suffer from cerebral palsy and are in need of wheelchairs. While Donoho was researching what he would be allowed to photograph, he noticed most of the children were getting around in a make-shift form of transportation.
“As I was looking through their website, I saw lots of kids getting around on skateboards,” Donoho said. “In talking with the founder, I found those skateboards are how they get around. When I talked to the founder about the needs of the kids, he said their greatest need was wheelchairs.”
A father himself, Donoho felt compelled to help. He raised $9,450 in 10 days to purchase wheelchairs to take to Nepal. With the help of Reach Out and Care Wheelchairs, Donoho was able to purchase eight wheelchairs.
He shipped the wheelchairs through an airline. Upon his arrival, he was able to visit CDCA.
“As a parent myself, you could just sympathize to how they felt,” Donoho said. “I expected my heart to be warmed by the kids and it was, but the real rewarding moments were the looks of relief on the parents’ faces.”
An illness forced Donoho to head home early and miss photographing the trek up the mountain.
“You’re never guaranteed that things are going to go perfectly,” Donoho said. “The fact that I got to spend the time there was amazing. That part of the trip was the restorative part.”