That first expedition was so successful it spurred a group of Dartmouth students to conduct a similar effort earlier this year. Now, Welch and a few other students involved in the original climb are seeking nonprofit status for the Fistula Free Climb and to grow it into a wider program for college students and others. So far, their efforts have led to around $30,000 being raised.
For Welch, he hopes his upcoming research fellowship will just be the first step in a career of bringing a higher standard of living to the less advantaged.
"I think that it's really important that we look out for each other," he said. "I think that by doing research and advocating for improved health condition we can make a huge difference."
To make a donation to Welch's Unite For Sight fundraiser, visit .tinyurl.com/kevinwelch.""