A Toronto man's story of his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, mostly on his hands, has proven to be an inspirational motivator for others.

Spencer West has been in a wheelchair since he was a youngster. His legs were lost due to a genetic disease when he was five years old.

This summer West, 31, went to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for a clean water program in Kenya.

"After being told I would never walk or be a functioning member of society, if I can walk up this mountain and raise over half a million dollars for clean water, what more can you do?" Spencer said Tuesday during a speaking engagement in Saskatoon. "You don't have to climb a mountain but maybe you've been dying to spend an hour reading to your kids. So go do it."

West spent about 80 per cent of the hike up Kilimanjaro on his hands, the rest in a custom-made wheelchair.