Son of Don Cash, Utah climber who died on Everest, reveals his father's final message

Don Cash's children want him to be remembered for his adventurous spirit and chasing his dreams.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

The family of an American climber who died after reaching the summit of Mount Everest is taking solace in knowing that he was chasing his dreams right until the end.

The children of Don Cash, 55, spoke with Miguel Almaguer on TODAY about Cash's adventurous life following his death while descending from the top of the world's tallest mountain.

"The last message he sent to me personally was, 'I'm so blessed to be on the mountain I have read about for 40 years!'" son Tanner Cash told TODAY.

The sales executive from Sandy, Utah, also sent a final message to his wife, Monette, while he was on the mountain.

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"I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and how much I appreciate you supporting my dreams,'' the message read.

Climbing Mount Everest was to be the end of his quest to reach the highest peaks on all seven continents and join the heralded "Seven Summits Club."

"It was the seventh summit,'' daughter Danielle Cook said. "It was the big finishing aspect of his dreams."

Cash was aware of the risks of climbing the world's tallest peak. On a previous expedition, he lost parts of multiple fingers on his right hand to frostbite.

He reached the 29,000-foot summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday as part of a 15-member expedition led by Chinese climber Yuan Li, according to a report in The Himalayan Times. Later, he collapsed on the descent near the famous Hillary Step, a treacherous rock face close to the summit.

Sherpas gave him oxygen and attempted to help him down the mountain before he died.

The cause of death has not been officially determined, but his family believes he went into cardiac arrest.

He is the 12th climber to die in the Himalayas this year, Mount Everest base camp officials told The Himalayan Times.

His family wanted Cash to be remembered as a person who pushed limits to chase his dreams and explore the world.

"I think there's just so much peace that comes from knowing that he didn't suffer,'' daughter Brandalin Cash said while fighting back tears. "That it was the best way to go."