Costa Mesa, Ca.
June 27, 2015
Dear Family & Friends:
On the evening of June 25, we hosted a welcome reception at our home for Mingma. My family and a group of Everest friends from Orange County attended. It was very special and fun evening. I showed a Burke-Khang/Everest slideshow and Mingma narrated a slideshow depicting the devastation and damage from the earthquake in Nepal.
Our special guests were Tim Medvetz and USMC Cpl. Brad Ivanchan. Tim summited Mt. Everest from the North side in 2007. He was featured on the Discovery channel’s program “Everest: Beyond the Limit.” More importantly, Tim founded the “Heroes Project,” an organization that works with veterans, soldiers, marines and military families to improve the care and protection of veterans through individual support, community empowerment systemic change. Here is the Heroes Project website. Tim is a very close friend of Mingma and his family and climbed mountains in the Khumbu region with Mingma’s father before Mingma’s father was killed in the ice serac collapse in 2014.
Here is Brad’s story in his own words:
“In March 2012 I deployed to the deadly Sangin district of Afghanistan. There, I spent the next 3 months as a machine gun Squad Leader conducting day and night foot patrols in Sangin’s southern green zone. On the night of June 13th, I stepped on a pressure plate of an 8 to 12 pound I.E.D, and my life was changed forever. The I.E.D blew off both my legs, my right below the knee, and my left above the knee. That same night, two other members from our nine-man squad were wounded, and one was killed. Two days later, I woke up in a hospital in Germany and had to come to terms with the loss of my legs, and the fact that my life would never be the same. On June 18th, I arrived at Balboa Navy Medical Hospital in San Diego California. There, I received many more surgeries repairing my legs as well as my left hand. Only once the surgeries were done with did I start the long and painful process of recovery…”
To give you an idea of the bravery, strength and resiliency of this young American Hero, just 8 months after his injury, he summited Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia.
Below are some photos from the party.