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  Everest 2004 Expedition: Moonshadow Step by Step for MS takes on Mount Everest: Dispatch Three


April 4, 2004; The team left Kathmandu for Tibet around 6:30 am April 3. Serena was forced to stay back due to problems with her diplomatic visa - we hope she is able to quickly sort things out with Beijing and meet us up in 4-5 days time.

After a slight delay on the road due to two trucks that had been set on fire, we arrived at approximately 14:00 at Friendship Bridge. Four Toyota Land cruisers picked us up for the bumpy ride through 'no mans land' between the border of Nepal and Tibet. Arrived soon after in Zhang Mu where we spent a good night's sleep.

Arrived today in Nyalam and are all enjoying a day of rest. We are now at 3'600m - a climb of 1'400m since Zhang Mu. Our first acclimatisation walk is planned for tomorrow before heading off on Tuesday.

Iain and I are both well and healthy. Next dispatch will likely be from base camp where we expect to arrive around April 8th.  Sandy

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 have MS.

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 address:

Project MoonShadow
P.O. Box 520515
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-0515
USA

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 charitable foundation.

Dispatches

 
Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.

 






 

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