UCLA football coach Jim Mora is taking 10 days out of his busy life for a tough task.
Next week, Mora will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to benefit NFL star Chris Long’s Waterboys charity, which raises money for fresh drinking water in Tanzania. Long and Mora will be joned by former NFL players as well as a U.S. servicewoman using a prosthetic leg after being injured in combat, and a serviceman who lost his vision during fighting in Afghanistan.
“Chris plays for the Patriots and he has a foundation called ‘Waterboys’ and they go in to remote villages in Africa and they build wells. They produce fresh water. In Tanzania, 2 in 5 children under five die of waterborne illness. They’ll go into these swamps and just drink water that animals have defecated in and people have bathed in and are contaminated. What I’ve found is that for $45,000 dollars, you can dig and build a well and find the water. Provide sustainable water for up to 7500 people for 20 years. So when Chris and those guys asked if I wanted to climb, because I love to climb, I love the challenge, I said ‘yes’. Initially it was a chance to go to Africa and climb a 19,000 foot peak, but a chance to raise money and to help people’s lives be enhanced.”
Mora said he can handle anyone who has a problem with him tackling such a charitable task.
“If I get criticized for going thousand miles away to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to save lives, I can live with that. I’m going to tell everyone what Im going to do, so they can go ahead and get their criticisms out, I’m a big boy, ill get criticized a lot. The second that wheel lifts off the tarmac at LAX, my phone is getting turned off and it’s not getting turned back on until the wheel hits the tarmac at LAX. I need those 10 days and I’ll take them. I’m not going to miss much.”