Climbing mountains is often used as a metaphor for life. These “sleeping giants” of the natural world can represent not only our life’s obstacles and challenges, but our perserverance and ability to overcome despite the odds. Today, we are honoured to share with you the giants who conquered a mountain. Individuals who have overcome the metaphorical mountain of life achieving yet another summit - that of Mount Kinabalu.

Each of these individuals have faced physical and mental challenges due to their health and now they “Climb for Cause”, to raise awareness for Organ Transplant Patients. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and by taking one step at a time, nothing is impossible and anything is achievable. 

This is a story about Manvir Victor - Kidney Failure Survivor, Siva Kumar - Dialysis Patient and Hanafi Salleh - Kidney Transplant Recipient. Mount Kinabalu can be a challenging hike even for the average climber with no health complications, but these three gentlemen took on this extraordinary achievement to inspire patients with life changing organ transplants and organ donations that they too can have a normal life and achieve any of their goals.

Photo Courtesy of Manvir Victor

Manvir Victor, at age 35 was diagnosed with end stage renal failure by a doctor whose bedside manner may have been lacking and was not able to receive an organ transplant until almost a decade later. That life changing organ transplant, only made possible by his loving wife who donated her kidney to him and a dedicated team of doctors, changed his life. Being able to enjoy simple, basic pleasures in life such as a nice drink, was now his again. This experience inspired him to help future transplant patients and led him to become president of the patient organisation known as Patient for Patient Safety, started by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Hanafi Salleh started feeling ill when he was just 14 years old and by 17, he was on dialysis three times a week. Dialysis is a gruesome and excruciating treatment that leaves the patient weak, tired and drained. Hanafi endured dialysis for 17 years waiting for an organ donation. He finally received a renal transplant thanks to a registered organ donor. This climb with a cause is something he holds dear to his heart as he hopes more people will register as organ donors so others suffering can get a second lease on life. He shared that reaching the summit as a transplant recipient, required more preparation than normal to avoid any damage to the organ during the climb. It was crucial Hanafi had good stamina and brought enough water to avoid dehydration.

Photos Courtesy of Hanafi Salleh

Siva Kumar Raghavan is a man who stands for “mind over matter”. As a dialysis patient, he faces many challenges - fluid control, blood pressure management, fatigue and joint pain. Despite this, he does not let it deter him from living life to the fullest. Siva refuses to see himself as a sickly person and instead asks “Why can’t I do it?” With this simple mantra, he prepared himself physically through intense training climbing up Bukit Gasing, Bukit Sapu Tangan and Bukit Besi.

Photo Courtesy of Siva Kumar Raghavan

Siva had to undergo dialysis the day before starting his climb and the day after upon descent. To him, it was all worth it, he saw the majestic beauty that Mount Kinabalu gives from the peak and was able to experience these amazing moments together with his 12 year old son.

Photo Courtesy of Siva Kumar Raghavan

Manvir, Hanafi and Siva give their appreciation and thanks to the effort of Rotary Club Melawati, who helped plan, train and prep the climbers for their journey to Mount Kinabalu. Both Siva and Hanafi reached the summit at Low’s Peak though Manvir made it up to 11,000 feet before he was struck by acute mountain sickness and had to stop there. We would like to congratulate all three climbers for this incredible achievement and are continuously inspired by their strength and determination. is supportive towards this cause and encourage more to follow the steps of these extraordinary gentlemen, click HERE to find out more about organ donation.

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