Photo Credit: Getty
With the death toll in the thousands, the devastating earthquake that shook Nepal on Saturday has left heartbreak and devastation for its citizens and others who were visiting the country just north of India.
The first confirmed American death was that of distinguished Google exec Dan Fredinburg.
Fredinburg had been climbing Mount Everest when he and 17 other climbers succumbed to an avalanche that was triggered by the quake. The 33-year-old has been spoken of as one of the most brilliant, larger than life adventurers who played an instrumental role in Google and co-founded Google Adventure.
Fredinburg was in Nepal for business on behalf of Google Adventure - "a company team that filmed Google Street View imagines in extreme, exotic locations like the summit of Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef off Australia."
Fredinburg will be remembered for not only his inspirational spirit but his litany of renowned accomplishments including co-founding the climate change nonprofit, "Save The Ice," and "The Laundry" – a startup collaborating on markets having access to high-end technology.
Actress Sophia Bush had been dating the exec for more than a year before their split in 2014. Bush shared her heartbreak on Instagram along with a photo Fredinburg posing in a dynamically tech picture. Bush shared on Saturday hours prior to her appearance at the White House Correspondence Dinner.
“There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all," Bush wrote. "Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it."
"His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I'm devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of 'all the things' when he got home.
"I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love. Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone's Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it's all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal #AdventureswithDAN."
Besides Bush, Google’s privacy director Lawrence You shared "Dan Fredinburg, a long-time member of the Privacy organization in Mountain View, was in Nepal with three other Googlers, hiking Mount Everest. He has passed away. The other three Googlers with him are safe and we are not working to get them home quickly."
To donate to disaster relief for Nepal, you can visit the American Red Cross, Unicef, and Oxfam.
To honor Dan, friends have established a Crowdrise, which allows donations for causes he supported.
WomensForum sends its condolences to Dan’s family and friends as well as the thousands of other people who have been tragically affected by this disaster.