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Smithville native becomes 1st double amputee woman to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro


By Jackson Kurtz

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — Nothing is impossible for hiker and Smithville native Mandy Horvath.

She is reaching new heights, climbing the world’s mountains — while overcoming a major obstacle.

“Whether you believe you can or think you can, or not, you’re probably right,” said Horvath.

A mentality that’s motivated her to climb places like Pike’s Peak and Manitou Incline to name a few.

“I have a lot of people to prove wrong,” Horvath.

In June she added the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro to the list.

“There were several times, where I was very worried, and scared I wouldn’t make it to the top,” said Horvath.

Doing this all with no legs, and becoming the first woman bilateral amputee to climb the dormant volcano.

“On top of just crawling with my arms, basically the way I do this is by lifting my entire body weight and swinging,” said Horvath.

Hovarth lost her legs in 2014 after getting hit by a train.

Her desire to climb came while recovering, seeing others like herself conquer great feats.

“Something that requires a lot more than you would actually anticipate,” said Horvath.

Trekking through rainforests, glaciers, and desserts to get to the top of Kilimanjaro 19,000 feet above sea level while immersing herself in the culture.

“You only get these kind of experiences once in a lifetime, usually, and taking the easy way out really isn’t my forte,” said Horvath.

Her mindset moving forward.

“Take things a little slower. pole pole. be a little kinder. there’s work ahead, it doesn’t mean you have to trample over other people to get it done,” said Horvath.

She says she plans to rest for a while after her Kilimanjaro climb, but plans to take on more challenges once she’s fully healed.

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