Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis was in Tanzania with former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris and Douglas Pitt, Brad Pitt's brother, who also serves as the goodwill ambassador to the country to raise money for a mission called TackleKili, which was created to benefit WorldServe International and Pros for Africa's charitable efforts for clean water projects in Africa.
The group left on last Wednesday to trek the 19,340 summit of Africa's highest point, Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is expected they will reach the top of the summit by Sunday.
The group was missing one person, however. Lewis had to pull out of the venture because of an injured foot and fever.
According to a statement released by TackleKili, "In the end, Ray's decision was to let the team move on without him, rather than hold them back or put himself in a position where an injury which requires surgery could become even more complicated. As always, his team backed his play. So while Ray refocused his service to this cause at a lower altitude, his team began the ascent on behalf of those in desperate need for clean water."
Lewis instead helped to provide hearing aids to children.
Frank Gamble, who is doing a video of the trip, said of Lewis, "Last night he had a bad night, fevered and really rough. So, this morning when he woke up, the foot was killing him, years of injuries and all of that. So, we're going to miss him.
"I just say goodbye to him and told him we love him. He made a significant contribution financially to provide safe water to people. Even though we're not going to have Ray, we're going to have plenty of wonderful people."
This story has gathered a bit of controversy from commentors on NBC Sports, who believe Lewis bowed out at the right time, calling his trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro a "scam" and his "way of hiding his white suit"- referring to the white suit that went missing in his murder investigation more than ten years ago. Whatever you chose to believe, Lewis was bringing attention to a situation that we need to be aware of.
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