Ray Lewis threw himself fully into preparing for, promoting and investing in a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, to bring awareness and funds to a clean-water project for East Africa. Unfortunately for him, he was never able to even begin the climb, grounded by a sudden onset of fever and foot problems
Lewis, already in Tanzania this week to do preliminary charity work with WorldServe International and Pros For Africa – the organizers of the climb – had to cancel his plans to ascend the 19,340-foot peak when on Wednesday, the morning they were to begin, he came down with a fever, and his foot swelled up painfully, according to TackleKili.org, a site set up to track the climb and solicit support and donations.
“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.’’
Lewis tweeted Thursday: “Foot pain grew worse after yesterday’s hearing mission. The team goes on; I will serve otherwise4 #cleanwater”.
The group began the trip by helping provide hearing aids to youngsters in the African nation. When it became clear his foot would not allow him to continue, he shared words of inspiration with the other climbers at their headquarters hotel. As the rest – including Doug Pitt, Goodwill’s ambassador to Tanzania and Brad Pitt’s brother, and fellow ex-NFL player Tommie Harris – began the climb, Lewis visited an orphanage.
Presuming his foot doesn’t give him serious problems and heals normally, Lewis’s next big post-retirement quest will be joining ESPN’s NFL studio team during the preseason.