While most kids his age are spending their summer vacation kicking it at day camp, riding bicycles around their neighborhood or exploring adventures in their own backyard, an eight-year-old Californian has his sights set on a much larger picture.
Little Tyler Armstrong, a resident of Yorba Linda, is currently undergoing extensive training in preparation for an unforgettable trip abroad, where he will attempt on July 1 to become the second youngster to ever climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent of Africa.
In 2006, Jordan Romero, successfully tackled Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 10. Three years later, the Big Bear Lake, CA, native pulled himself up into the record books by becoming the youngest human to ever climb the seven continents' highest mountains.
Ascending Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano that towers the sky at 19,341 feet above sea level, will be a risky trek for the snaggletoothed Tyler and his adult companions due to the mountain's breathtaking elevation, frigid temperatures and unpredictable gusts of wind.
But none of the negative predictive values seems to faze Tyler as his concerted efforts to venture into world record books will also help raise awareness for a killer muscle disease that affects one in every 3,600 boys.
Tyler wants to help find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a debilitating and often fatal disorder caused by a gene mutation of the human X-chromosome that's transmitted by the mother. Although both genders can carry the mutation, females rarely show signs.
Symptoms appear in males before the age of five. By age 12, victims of the disorder are usually wheelchair-dependent.
Tyler decided to stand tall and join a worldwide fight to help discover a cure after meeting a boy currently struggling with DMD.
So Tyler is encouraging his supporters to donate $1.00 for each foot of Mount Kilimanjaro he successfully conquers. Net proceeds will be used to fund an acceleration of scientific research.
The brave mountaineer is no stranger to shouldering such large tasks.
It was on July 26, 2011, at the tender age of seven, when Tyler is believed to have become the youngest human to climb California's Mount Whitney in under eight hours.
With an elevation of 14,505 feet, Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States.
To track Tyler's courageous explorations and support his cause, follow this link.