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December 10 , 2008

One More Step

My Story of Living with Cerebral Palsy, Climbing Kilimanjaro, and Surviving the Hardest Race on Earth


In 2008, Bonner Paddock summited 19,341-foot-high mount kilimanjaro, the world's tallest freestanding mountain. Four years later, he earned the elite triathlete title kona Ironman. Thousands have done each individually. Bonner is the first person with cerebral palsy to do both.

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Bonner Paddock grew up just wanting to be ordinary. Despite his skinny legs and habit of tripping over nothing, he fought to keep up with his athletic older brothers, learned to battle riptides with his grandfather on close watch, and did everything he could to feel like a regular kid, even when it became clear he wasn't. After being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age eleven, Bonner didn't let it limit him—instead he simply ignored its existence. For the next eighteen years, he guarded the truth about his health, building a normal life and keeping his secret from everyone—most of all himself.

But the sudden death of a friend's young son named Jake, a boy who also suffered from cerebral palsy, forced Bonner to reevaluate who he was. No longer content striving for normal, he began to pursue one breathtaking experience after another in Jake's memory, never hiding from his physical limitations and, in the process, raising international awareness about cerebral palsy. T is appetite for challenges led him to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro where, pushing his fragile body to the brink and barely surviving, he braved one mountain only to discover that he still had farther to climb.

Embracing his weaknesses to understand his strengths, he then pursued the ultimate adventure: testing his mind, body, and will at the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, a race regarded by many as the hardest on earth. Along the way he forged a renewed bond with his family and launched a foundation to help disabled children in Africa and at home.

In the end, his remarkable journey took him across the globe and introduced him to a compelling cast of characters—from Tanzanian mountain guides to top-class surgeons, to disabled children, to champion athletes—all of whom inspired his quest. Infused with his irresistible charisma, courage, and heart, and illustrated with sixteen pages of color photos, One More Step is a gripping story of human perseverance that demonstrates how our lives are not defined by limits, but by the moments and lessons that push us past them.

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