* 8-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Girl to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro During Family Vacation to Africa *
Age is just a number for 8-year-old Roxy Getter, who has become the youngest girl to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro.
“I can’t believe she did it," her dad Bobby Getter told InsideEdition.com. “She didn’t stop. She didn’t complain. I was surprised but very happy for her."
Roxy added, "It was pretty cool to say you got to the top of the mountain."
Roxy and her family, including her 10-year-old brother Ben, from Punta Gorda, Fla., tackled the 19,341-foot mountain earlier this month during a family vacation to Tanzania.
Bobby said they had originally intended to sign up for a safari when a friend suggested they look into hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro.
“I would not say that we felt confident but we do love to hike,” his wife, Sarah Getter, told InsideEdition.com. “When we lived in Arizona, we did a lot of hiking, but being in Florida, there’s not a lot of places to train. We did the best we could with stairs, and biking, and long walks.”
Sarah explained both Roxy and Ben had a history of heart issues, but were cleared to trek up the mountain by a cardiologist before they left.
The family has also never done an overnight camping trip before, and ended up spending nearly a week on the mountain.
“It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s windy, you’re dirty, you haven’t showered in a week, you’re sleeping in a tent,” Bobby explained. “The people that were there with us, they wanted us to make it, you can tell. They kept us positive all the way up, you know, singing, talking to us, chatting.”
He explained their son, Ben, was probably the strongest climber, and even when both parents were out of breath by the top of the mountain, he kept their spirits up.
“When we reached the summit, I was emotional at that point because I really couldn’t believe that they did it as well as they did,” Bobby explained. “I was struggling. Ben just basically walked up. He was chatty and talking. I could barely speak, I could barely move.”
Although the trip was trying, Sarah said what they gained as a family could not have been replicated.
“We weren’t sure if we could do it or not but we all got together as a family and pushed towards it and made it to the top,” she said. “From that experience, I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons, especially for the kids: Keep going, even when things get hard.”