- A one-legged 20-year-old man is inspiring people through his story of climbing mountains
- Diagnosed with bone cancer at a young age, Ameer Ahid lost his leg
- After battling depression, Ameer decided to continue his studies and found an activity that he is passionate about
20-year-old Ameer Sanchez Ahid lived a relatively typical active lifestyle – he joined various sports and used these activities to bond with his father.
That all changed when he reached the age of 13 and was diagnosed with bone cancer.
“We thought the pain in my right leg was just muscle cramps. We had it checked up by a doctor in HSI (De La Salle Health Sciences Institute). I went through x-ray and biopsy, and after the results came out, I was referred to an oncologist who diagnosed it as osteosarcoma,” he told ABS-CBN News correspondent, Patrick Quintos, in Filipino in an interview.
Sports activities and running with his dad were not the only things that were put on hold after this life-changing event. He also had to stop going to school for two years because of chemotherapy and financial difficulties.
Fortunately, he was told that his cancer was treatable. The other side of it was that he had to make a choice between having his bone replaced with steel or having his affected leg amputated. He and his family chose the latter. Steel bone replacement turned out to be really expensive and still contained the risk of the cancer cells returning.
He fell into depression but continued to stick to his rehabilitation program. Eventually, he returned to school and decided to take up Architecture in De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Although he felt that some people treated him differently, he recalled that he began to feel normal again after his first semester in college when he was allowed to join the regular activities in his PE classes.
“I took adaptive PE at first. Then, I was allowed to compete with my classmates in table tennis, swimming, and even basketball in our PE classes,” he said.
This build his confidence and soon after, he and several of his friends decided to climb a mountain in Batangas. With the help of their professor, they went through with the climb. It was his first time to climb a mountain with just one real leg. It was a slow and steady climb.
“It took us hours,” he recalled.
The climb began at around 9 a.m. and ended after they descended at about 7 p.m.
His friends told ABS-CBN News that Ameer became quite emotional at his first summit. He also decided to share that significant moment with his family.
“I called my family and told them, ‘I am at the top of a mountain!'” Ameer said.
“If you are on the summit, there’s a different feeling to it, it’s like you’ve accomplished a lot of things. That there’s a lot of things that you can do. It’s overwhelming on the top of a mountain,” he added.
After that climb, they decided to establish a mountaineering group with the professor who helped them, Tony Gutierrez. Their group, called the LaSallian Mountaineering Society (LMS) now has over 20 active members.
Ameer continues to inspire others as he continues to climb mountains – his name is becoming more known in the circles of mountaineers. He has already climbed Pico de Loro, Makiling and Maculot.