Coffs hero aims to take on Mt Everest
STRONG-MINDED, Ben Norton has set his sights on climbing up to Mt Everest base camp.
The 17,600 foot climb is huge accomplishment by anyone's standard but for Ben, who lives with cerebral palsy, autism and intellectual delay, it is even more inspiring.
He said he put his disabilities aside and instead focused on his abilities - his will and determination to help conquer his fears.
Despite being shaken by heights, Ben remains driven to tackle his next challenge.
In the build up to his fitness test, the 22-year-old Coffs local has been hitting the road running 10km every two days.
He has also competed in triathlons and last year tackled white water rapids on New Zealand's North Island.
"I just like running and all that. I've just pushed myself to swim,” he said.
On top of pushing himself to the limits, Ben is motivated to help people.
If he is given the all-clear after his fitness test, he said his base camp climb would raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
He said he wanted to help people living with disabilities to be more independent.
Ben has received support from not-for-profit disability service provider Northcott.
His mother, Fran, said partnering with a Northcott support worker helped Ben lead a normal life.
"It's been amazing to see him develop socially and to gain self confidence,” Fran said.