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  Everest 2004 Expedition: Moonshadow Step by Step for MS takes on Mount Everest: Dispatch 4


April 14, 2004; We arrived at Base Camp April 8. One member of the team was held back in Kathmandu due to delays with her diplomatic visa, however she arrived yesterday at BC after traveling by helicopter to the Chinese border. Maoist strikes and blocked and mined roads in and out of Kathmandu have left many expeditions stuck in KTM, many of which face great logistical challenges in organizing alternate transport into BC.

Iain and I are both healthy and are acclimatizing well. Daily walks have brought us to 5'600m. We leave for Advanced Base Camp Thursday morning where the team will stay for approximately 10 days before returning to BC, including hopefully 2-3 trips to the North Col.

Weather has been beautiful mornings with winds picking up in the early afternoon. Nighttime temperatures inside the tent have averaged minus 10-15 degrees Celsius. Hope to send more news from ABC in a few days time. Sandy & Iain

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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