Climbers with Multiple Sclerosis conquer Mount Kilimanjaro

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 18, 2011 1:04 pm

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MOUNT KILIMANJARO, TanzaniaJuly 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Today, seven adventurous men and women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and four with Parkinson’s disease (PD), along with nine climbing companions, reached the highest peak in Africa. This is the first time a group of people with both of these neurodegenerative diseases have united as a committed team to reach a summit this high, all whilst showing solidarity in supporting one another every step of the way.

This climb demonstrates that neurodegenerative diseases can achieve the same outdoor successes as anyone, and can achieve great feats. Standing at 19,340 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa. It also is the highest fee-standing mountain in the entire world. 

“This ‘Kilimanjaro Leap of Faith Adventure’ was meant to challenge the body, expand the mind and foster courage in dealing with the diagnosis of a neurodegenerative disease. There have been some really tough parts of the trek, especially altitude sickness, for which there is nothing you can do. Imagine that on top of our neurodegenerative diseases. But, we’ve made it and that’s a credit to all of us who believe that we can go beyond the limitations of our disease and still achieve incredible results, both physically and mentally. We have remembered all those with neurodegenerative disease who climb personal mountains each day, as we have taken the steps to this summit,” said trip organiser Lori Schneider, founder of Empowerment Through Adventure.

During the climb, some suffered from altitude sickness, which occasionally worsened by the symptoms of their neurodegenerative disease. It is for this reason that three people with MS and five of the climbing companions did not reach the summit. However, everyone has assisted and supported each other every step of the way. 

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