Punta Gorda girl, 8, is youngest female to top Kilimanjaro

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. An 8-year-old Punta Gorda girl recently became the youngest female ever to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Roxy Getter climbed the 19,341-foot mountain in Tanzania with her family, including her 10-year-old brother, Ben.

“They were amazing,” said Sarah Getter, their mother. “They did not complain, they just kept going, one step in front of the other. They actually kept us going, I think, with their positive attitude.”

It was bitterly cold when they got to the top, with a howling wind and a 7-degree temperature in the thin air.

“Your thighs are shaking and your knees are hurting, but you’re just so relieved it’s over and you made it,” Sarah Getter said. “It’s crazy.”

Readying for the climb was a challenge in and of itself, given Florida’s largely flat terrain. They used stadium stairs, parking garages and bridges as their training grounds, Sarah Getter said.

“We just went up and down,” Roxy said.

The climb was the first time the family ever camped out. But the Getter children quickly proved up to the task. Father Bobby Getter was impressed with their willpower.

“You see them in front of you and you’re just, you can barely do it yourself, and then there they are,” he said. “We’re so proud of them.”

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