Racked by cold and dizzy with vertigo, Lai Chi-wai struck his helmet to stay alert. Upward he went, using ropes to pull himself inch by inch as he tried to scale Hong Kong’s 1,050-foot Nina Tower—a skyscraper as tall as the Eiffel Tower—while seated in his wheelchair. At 800 feet, though, wind gusts became relentless and the wheelchair began to spin. Lai started to fear for his life. He ultimately called off the climb after a 10-hour ascent, just short of his goal. Lai is a four-time winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championship and once ranked eighth in the world in the sport. He became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident nine years ago but has continued climbing in his wheelchair since. While Lai is disappointed about not achieving his goal this time, many well-wishers applauded what they saw as an unimaginable feat of endurance. Plus, Lai raised around $700,000 to fund research for spinal cord injuries, and he hopes his efforts will help end misconceptions about disabilities. “Some people think that we are always weak, we need help, we need assistance, we need people’s pity,” he told a German news outlet. “If a [person with a disability] can shine, they can at the same time bring about opportunity, hope, [and] light.”