Update 5/20/2004: Thursday, May
20: Winds continued to pound the mountain and the team was not able to ascend
to high camp today. They have decided to stay at 7'800m for one more night,
and to hope for better conditions Friday. Weather permitting, they will leave
Friday morning for high camp with a summit attempt on Saturday. However, if
the weather does not improve, the decision will likely be made to turn around.
Two deaths were confirmed today
on Everest's north side. The team had reportedly lended support in the
afternoon to some climbers who had summited earlier in the day and were in
need of help on their way down.
What is MS?
MS often strikes young adults
between 20 and 50 years of age. Twice as many women develop the disease. MS is
found most frequently among people who live in temperate climates, both in the
Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
In Switzerland alone, over 10,000 people currently live with MS. The disease
strikes one out of every 800 Swiss, representing a high proportion of the
population compared to other countries. In the US, a third of a million people
What are its symptoms?
The symptoms of MS may include tingling, numbness, slurred speech, and blurred
or double vision. Some people experience muscle weakness, poor balance, poor
coordination, muscle tightness, spasticity, or paralysis which may be
temporary or permanent.
Because MS affects individuals so differently, it is difficult to make
generalizations about disability.
What causes MS?
Most scientists think the cause of MS is "multi-factorial." The person's
genetic heritage, gender, birthplace, age, and environment contribute to
susceptibility, resistance, and the pattern of course MS will take. It is not
an inherited disease, in a strict sense, but a certain susceptibility may run
in families. One theory suggests that a common viral infection, acquired
during early childhood in genetically susceptible individuals, leads to the
development of an immune response (autoimmune reaction) when one reaches
adulthood. MS appears to result from an autoimmune process in which immune
cells mistake myelin as a foreign invader and attack it.
Is it easily diagnosed?
MS is not easy to diagnose. However, recent advances in medical imaging,
particularly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are helping to clarify
diagnosis. A conclusive or definitive diagnosis requires evidence of multiple
patches of scar tissue in different parts of the central nervous system, and
evidence of at least 2 separate attacks of the disease.
Is there a cure?
Although no cure exists at present for MS, many symptoms can be relieved and
the severity of attacks may be reduced through the use of various treatments.
There are also many therapies to moderate or relieve MS symptoms.
How to donate
In the United States :
Please send a US draft check, made payable to the “US National MS Society”
with written reference to the “ Nan J. Gascoigne Fund” to the following
P.O. Box 520515
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-0515
Because we are collecting funds through the US National MS Society, your
donation qualifies as tax-deductable. By specifying the “ Nan J.
Gascoigne Fund” on your check, you enable MoonShadow to maintain control
of the funds and how they will be put to good use.
To donate In Switzerland and from all other countries please e-mail us
They are currently working to register MoonShadow as a