Update: Saturday, May 22: Iain
phoned from ABC where he arrived this afternoon after spending the night on
the North Col. He sounded tired but happy, calmly commenting: "I think I now
have a pretty good feel for the Everest experience, at least from the North".
The team is now resting and should begin heading down to BC either tomorrow or
the day after.
Weather has certainly played
a major role in what sadly has turned out to be one of the deadliest seasons
on Everest. Congratulations to Iain and the entire team for reaching 7'800m
and for your acts of generosity and bravery as you lended support to your
fellow climbers in need. You are all my heroes. Happy 31st birthday Tom!
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