LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) After long days of climbing, Louisville dentist Dr. David Shorten reached the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.

We spent a few minutes up there, and then took pictures, celebrated a little bit. And then went back down, Shorten said.

An exhausting climb which Shorten fought for air while battling muscle aches.

It was all I could do just to fall into my tent and just lay there for awhile, he said.

Dr. Shorten carried a special message on his back to the top of the mountain.

With diabetes they have hurdles; diabetics have hurdles that they have to overcome every day. And that's for a lifetime. This was only 8 days for me. At times, I thought I couldn't do it and at times, I think diabetics think they can't do it, Shorten said.

An avid hiker and climber for many years, Dr. Shorten wanted his latest and greatest climb to stand for something.

His wife, Dr. Carol Kulp-Shorten was diagnosed with the disease 11 years ago.

I don't know too many men that would climb a mountain for a woman and I feel very blessed and fortunate that I happened to be married to one of those men, she said.

The Shortens hoped to raise awareness and money for diabetes so they set goals and far exceeded them.

I am just blown away by the generosity of, you know, neighbors, family, friends, co-workers in my office, patients have been sending in money. People I don't even know are sending money. He went into this thinking, oh I'll raise 4,000 dollars and now he's up to 15,000 dollars, Carol said.

It took 8 days to complete the climb which Dr. Shorten did in late January.

Mount Kilimanjaro stands more than 19,000-feet above sea level.

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