NYPD lieutenants inspired to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in honor of slain officer

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It is one of the world's tallest and most challenging mountains - and in one week, two members of the NYPD will attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Their motivation comes from the loss of a fellow officer - their trek is meant to make a difference.

Manny Kwo and Charlie Trento are lieutenants in the NYPD, and along with a third friend, they are embarking on the trip of a lifetime.

The officers have trained for months, running up stairs, on treadmills and cycling through endless conditioning for an epic trek.

"It's the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. I really don't know what we got ourselves into here," said Lt. Trento.

It is no mere summer vacation - it is a way to give back and raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for familes whose kids are being treated for cancer.

"I've tried to make everything I do in life matter in some way," said Lt. Kwo.

For Kwo, it is part of his road of recovery. Almost three years ago in the Bronx, he was grazed by a bullet in the line of duty. Spared, he believes by fellow Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, who died warning Kwo and others about a gunman opening fire.

"I think it's my duty almost to ensure that Paul's sacrifice that day was not in vain, and that everything I do would be something he would be proud of, something that would make him proud," added Kwo.

The lieutenants are more than halfway to their goal of raising $20,000 - that amount would pay for 500 nights of housing for out-of-town families whose kids need treatment.

"It's amazing climbing the mountain, but at the end of the day, the real fight's going on at the Ronald McDonald House. And if everybody just donated $5 or $10, that's all we need," said Trento.

The trip is not cheap - and the lieutenants are paying every dime out of their own pockets to make sure every dollar donated to their cause reaches its destination.

To help them reach their goal, CLICK HERE.

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