Aron Ralston visits Kent Stark to discuss “127 Hours”

Rachel Sluss

Kent State Stark will host its second annual Featured Speaker Series Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center’s Timken Great Hall.

Speaker Aron Ralston will discuss his desperate act of survival after, while hiking, an 800-pound boulder came loose and dropped on his right hand and wrist. He was stuck for six days, fighting hypothermia and dehydration until he made his last effort for survival. Ralston severed his arm with a dull utility knife, climbed 65 feet and hiked another five hours to safety.

“This was his last effort for survival,” public relations coordinator Cynthia Williams said. “He used to be a part of a search and rescue crew. So, he knew no one was going to find him in that remote area.”

During his presentation, Ralston will show excerpts from the film “127 Hours,” starring James Franco, which is based on his experience. Ralston started a video log after realizing he may not come out of the canyon alive. He will allow his audience to listen to the original audio during his presentation.

“He recorded the video log because he thought he might not survive,” Williams said. “He wanted to leave the footage behind after he was dead so someone would know what happened. It’s so moving and authentic. The footage allows us to live this experience with him.”

Ralston speaks at locations across the nation. Not only does he tell his story, but he strives to make his audience understand he still lives an adventurous lifestyle with a disability. He advocates people to pursue what they want to do despite disabilities.

Ralston currently designs prosthetics to aid him and others with disabilities to sustain an adventurous lifestyle. Because Ralston still takes up activities such as mountain climbing and hiking with his disability, he understands what designs work best for the disabled to pursue a certain hobby.

Kent State Stark sold more than 600 tickets to students and the community. Tickets sold out within two weeks of going on sale.

“This is a great opportunity for students and the community to come together to this event that is free,” Williams said. “We’re going to have a great response. And we’re excited for the future speakers coming up in our Featured Speaker Series.”