Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C
In September of 2007 Karim received a C7 vertebrae fracture and
was faced with the possibility of paralysis. Ultimately recovering
fully, he nonetheless was left with a full appreciation for those
impacted with a spinal cord injury.
Shortly after, Karim met an individual named Matt Thola. Matt
and Karim are mirror images of each other: adventurous, confident
and infected with what people call the "travel bug." Both are the
same age and share a similar sense of humours, as well as physical
scars. The only difference between the two is Matt is in a
The two friends' interaction and camaraderie would send them on
a journey to find the most adventurous travel itinerary possible,
while still catering to Matt's additional needs. However, the
adrenaline-filled itinerary they craved hadn't evolved from the
catered cruise and bus tours boasting accessibility and safety -
thus causing both friends to create an alternative.
Forming their own company called 9Lives Adventures, Matt and
Karim embarked on a plan for themselves, and others to visit the
tallest, highest, longest and hardest points of the globe with Matt
in his wheelchair and Karim joining in one as well.
In one year they successfully explored two continents, written
reviews on their 38 tours, received international press coverage,
skydived with Australia's first paraplegic skydiver, surfed with a
two-time world champion and, most importantly, lived by the
limitless example they sought to create and share. One year. One
Living by the mantra that the choices we make along our personal
journey are the stepping-stones of our entire life, Matt and Karim
are shining examples of what it means to become difference makers
in the lives of others. Both know that on their journey there will
be hardships and triumphs, advances and setbacks - but the real
victory is the journey towards making a difference, accomplishing
their goals and raising awareness.
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