About Us : Our Founder's Story

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Tim Wayne Medvetz has always sought adventure, born and raised in the Great State of New Jersey, Tim realized early on in life that he wanted to see the world {and see the world he did} a lifelong wanderer and nomad, a natural extreme athlete, Tim has traveled all over the world and lived in Brazil for 2 years where he studied with the famed Gracie family in the art of Brazilian Jui jitsu, became a licensed scuba diver, skydiver, and perfected his hang gliding in Brazil. After a 3 year stint bouncing in New York City at the famed Honky Tonk watering hole Hogs & Heifers Saloon, Tim rode his chopper across the country to Los Angeles in 1998 where he parlayed his love of bikes and the open road into a successful career selling and building custom motorcycles for Hollywood’s elite at the world renowned Bartel’s Harley Davidson. He built a bespoke ride for Richard Stark founder of the International luxury brand Chrome Hearts. who became his lifelong friend since moving to Los Angeles who then introduced him to the entertainer Cher in 1998 who also became a lifelong friend and client [he also built a bespoke ride for her as well].

Tim became a member of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle club and traveled all over the world with the club, some of the best times he’s ever had. Then on September 10,2001 he was racing his motorcycle through the San Fernando Valley when he was hit by a truck in a catastrophic accident that left him physically devastated, partially paralyzed and fighting for his life. He required 8 surgeries to save his foot, which doctors feared needed to be amputated, 2 metal plates and 20 screws to repair his cracked skull. A 9 hour surgery to repair his shattered back with a titanium cage, plates and screws to put his knee back together and additional surgery to fuse his finger. He was not expected to walk again or to fully recover. But no one told Tim that.

He awoke in icu on life support alone and in pain in the hospital on September 11,2001 just moments before the planes hit the World Trade Center. His room was crowded with doctors and nurses, all riveted to the burning buildings on tv, his former home. The world had changed forever and so had Tim’s.

For six long months Tim struggled to regain the use of his legs, work through excruciating pain, and find some meaning in his life. He was adrift, and not accepting the loss of his old body and his old life. One day in September 2002 after a year long self destructive binge sitting in his one bedroom apartment in hollywood, he looked up at his bookshelf and saw Jon Krakauer’s book “into thin air” wedged in the corner. The book had been a gift that was given to him four years prior where after finishing he vowed to climb Mt Everest one day. but he was in no condition to make such a journey. So thirty days later he gave up his apartment and booked a one way ticket to Nepal and slowly and insistently began to put his body and his life back together living amongst local Sherpas in the foothills of the Himalayas in preparation for his attempt of the summit of Mt Everest. It took him 4 years to train, much of it spent climbing numerous peaks in the Himalayas and boxing in a muay thai boxing camp in the south of Thailand to get back into fighting shape.

But Tim’s path to Everest wasn’t easy he flew back to California sold everything he had raised some sponsorship funds and made his first attempt in the spring of 2006 at the summit of Mt Everest, which by happenstance was filmed by the discovery channel in a 14 part epic series (Everest Beyond the Limit) one of the highest rated shows on discovery however just 300 feet from the summit Tim was faced with the hardest decision of his life go for the summit and risk dying because of the lack of oxygen remaining in his tank and stand on top of the world or turn around and come back the following year for a 2nd attempt he chose to abort his summit bid although bitterly disappointed he learned a valuable lesson in mountaineering that day that the summit is only halfway and that getting to the summit was optional, but getting down was mandatory. Tim was not a man who would give up or quit anything in his life. So the next year he tried again, but with just 8 hours left to go, he nearly lost his life getting caught up on some old frozen rope that caused him to fall off the side of the mountain he managed to pull himself up but suffered a shattered broken right hand still not one to give up he continued the remaining 8 hours climbing with only one hand finally reaching the summit at 7 am the morning of may 21, 2007 the Top of the World.

Tim returned to LA and once again found himself at a crossroads. He knew he wanted to keep climbing, he already proved to himself nothing could stand in his way summiting Everest was about his own personal recovery, but he felt he needed a reason to continue, a purpose beyond his own individual satisfaction. Again inspiration came from an unlikely place, a news broadcast on veterans day about disabled and disfigured returning veterans struck a familiar and powerful cord. Tim realized he had something to offer these brave soldiers, the chance to put their lives back together through the challenge of climbing.

Tim contacted all of his previous sponsors from his prior expeditions. His goal was to take a wounded soldier with him on his next climbs. He realized that if he could renew his faith in himself on the summit of a mountain, he could help others do so as well.

It didn’t take him long to raise the funds with the help of the Cher charitable foundation, Chrome Hearts, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Eddie Bauer, and some private financial donors who always believed in Tim from the beginning. He embarked on two major expeditions in the summer of 2009 to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa with an injured vet named Neil Duncan and Mt Elbrus, Russia with another injured vet Keith Deutsch. Tim with his friend and Cameraman Ken Sauls captured all the determination and perseverance of both these soldiers to provide inspiration and hope for future returning injured soldiers to watch.

There was no turning back this time, in the fall of 2009 Tim founded The Heroes Project, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to help more wounded warriors climb the worlds highest peaks and find a renewed purpose and belief in themselves. The foundation is predicated on the idea that we can make a difference and change the lives of our wounded veterans, soldiers and their families one soldier, one veteran, one family at a time. For Tim and the men and women of the Heroes Project, the real journey is just beginning. Hence The Heroes Project was born.