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

Great news - Iain is back to his "old-self" and reportedly spent the morning giving golf lessons. While he broke out the sand wedge and the pink ladies (these balls are easier to see on snow patches), he is saving the Big Bertha for summit day. The guys had been hounding him since we got to BC to pull out his club(s) - it seems the weather has finally allowed this - at least throughout the morning winds had died down and the sun had warmed things enough for the down coats to finally come off. 

Today's news indicates that Tony was not feeling too well at ABC where he and Ewen have been for the last 6 days. No news on Ewen, who was not well at last report a few days ago. By now they should have returned to BC along with the rest of the BBC crew. 

Everyone seems anxious to get moving up the mountain again. While it is still unclear exactly when the weather window will be, they are hoping to be able to leave BC by the end of next week. From here it will take 3 days to get into position for the final summit push, so they will probably have to start the hike back up before the weather fully improves. Unfortunately the sat phone disconnected before we finished talking, but Iain's last words clearly indicated that he was as determined as ever!

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

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.


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