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Kevin has been an international mountaineer for over 20 years. Conquering the summit of Mt. Everest in 2007 was his greatest personal accomplishment. Since then, he’s made it his personal goal to change lives one adventure at a time—whether by scaling Everest, Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu or Aconcagua. Kevin’s passion for climbing and helping others has even been passed on to individuals who are blind, paralyzed and have lost limbs.
His own adventure began when he wanted to have a bigger impact on people through his travel expeditions. Kevin was the expedition leader for 25 individuals—eight of whom were blind—on a climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for people with disabilities. Kristen was one of the guides on his team. The team broke four world records, raised over $200,000 for the blind in Arizona and assisted a local orphanage that housed 24 blind, albino children in Tanzania. After this historic climb, the two joined forces to create K2 Adventures Foundation and K2 Adventure Travel, and they’ve been helping others around the globe ever since. Together, they run K2 Adventure Travel, which organizes voluntourism trips to Africa, Peru, Argentina and Nepal. Kevin is a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder as well as trained in CPR and First Aid.
He says, “I enjoy the smiles on the faces of those we help both in the United States and around the world.”
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Throughout the years, Kristen has always been involved with a variety of non-profit organizations. Seeing the great need among those who were less fortunate and disabled in the U.S. was so heartfelt that she wanted to do something about it. She started her first qualified 501 (c) (3) in 1993 when she was just 23 years old. After relocating to Arizona in 2003 she went on to create her second non-profit that continued with her mission to help others.
In March of 2009, her vision was once again ignited, this time internationally, when she was one of the guides on Kevin Cherilla’s expedition with eight blind people up Mt. Kilimanjaro. The entire team made the summit and broke four world records, but the trip was historic for another reason. After visiting a local orphanage —she and Kevin made the decision to co-found K2 Adventures Foundation, her third non-profit, and she became an international mountain guide. Kristen is a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder as well as trained in CPR and First Aid. For Kristen, the experience has proven to be life changing. "I have fallen in love with the children in all of the countries we visit as well as the challenges of leading the teams to their personal best."