As incredible as it must be to be the ‘first’ to do anything, being a multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferer and the first to jump something like Mount Everest has got to be on someone’s top ten list of out and out coolest things to do. Ever.
Marc Kopp, who lives in Longwy, France, and has had MS for more than a decade, trained and suffered for weeks so that he could complete the jump over Mount Everest on Sunday.
He had to spend a few hours a day on horseback, he has to use a wheelchair to move around normally, and it was extremely hard on his spine. According to Marc, the pain was worth it though as it was training he needed for the trek through the Himalayas to where the airstrip was located.
55 year-old Kopp jumped Everest in tandem with his friend and champion skydiver, Mario Gervas, and although it was uncertain at first because of weather conditions, they were able to complete the jump and give Kopp the memory of his life.
“I feel very happy. I am exhausted but very happy,” he said and it was pretty apparent that words could not adequately describe what was going through his mind as they were returning to the ground.
[Get free email subscription to Lima Multiple Sclerosis Examiner to receive news and updates [click here].
Kopp was hoping to show others who suffer from MS that life is not over because of a diagnosis and the various different symptoms it hands them: “I hope my action will inspire others living with this illness. I hope many more will follow in my footsteps,” he said, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Janet Burns of Lima, who has suffered from MS for almost two decades and also has to use a wheelchair, remarked, “I looked into riding horses a couple years ago and found at Fassett Farm, that I could really enjoy feeling some freedom for a couple hours a month.”
“I don’t do it often enough,” she said with a laugh. “But, I really don’t understand why more people don’t do it because just those few hours is enough to tide me over for months, really. All they have to do is call the MS Society in Maumee and they would be more than happy to help.
Janet is referring to the Equestrian Therapy Program, a therapy program that is held at Fassett Farm in Cridersville, Ohio.
With Kopp having made the trek to the air strip and jumping almost 33,000 feet over Everest and his being the first to do it with a disease like MS; seeing his name thrown in National Geographic’s People’s Choice Adventurers of Year for 2013 should be a definite must!
For more info on Equestrian Therapy Program in Cridersville, please visit link above or here.
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps
Multiple Sclerosis Community Support:
- MS World ~ “We've come together from around the world to help each other cope with the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis.”
- Patients like Me ~ “Our Promise PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients first. We do this by providing a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions.”
- Med Help, Multiple Sclerosis ~ “Today, MedHelp empowers over 12 million people each month to take control over their health and find answers to their medical questions. MedHelp, a privately-funded company, has over 16 years of accumulated information from doctors and other patients across hundreds of conditions. In addition, MedHelp has long-standing partnerships with the top medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, National Jewish, Partners Health, and Mount Sinai. MedHelp's audience, archives, and partnerships make it a unique health destination on the Internet.”