Ray Lewis, the recently retired 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker and Superbowl Champion, had to pull out of the charity trek up Africa’s tallest mountain due to an injured foot and fever. He never took a step on Kilimanjaro.
Lewis’ foot had been injured and re-injured during his 17 year NFL career.
Lewis was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of an charity called TackleKili, which supports World Serve International and Pros for Africa. World Serve International is a non-profit organization aimed at developing locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, education, and economic development throughout eastern Africa.
Before his climb Lewis stated, “Since retiring, I have explored the best direction for my commitment and belief– shared by all generations of the Lewis family – to serve others. When I learned that 4500 children die every day from illness because of a lack of clean water I said ‘Even one child lost is an unbearable loss.’”
“Through TackleKili everyone can do something – you can join our team and climb with me, follow me, and help inspire me to take another step. Because what I have to accomplish during this climb is nothing compared to what these children face every day just to survive. As part of TackleKili together we can save many lives.”
Besides Lewis and Pitt, other team members on the trip include former Chicago Bear Tommie Harris, celebrity fitness expert Basheerah Ahmad, and actor Kyle Massey.
“In the end, Ray’s decision was to let the team move on without him, rather than hold them back or put himself in a position where an injury which requires surgery could become even more complicated,” TackleKili said in a statement.