First person with MS summits Mt. Everest
Bayfield, Wisc., - May 23, 2009 - Lori Schneider of Bayfield, Wisconsin summited Mt. Everest last night, becoming the first person with MS to accomplish the feat. The 52-yearold mountain climber and speaker is also the first person with MS to complete the Seven Summits, reaching the top of the highest peak on each continent.
At the summit, Schneider unfurled a banner celebrating the upcomingWorld MS Day on May 27, and a flag signed by friends and supporters. In a satellite phone call from the summit, she said was very excited, very happy and feeling good. Her team descended to their camp at 26,000 feet to rest before going down to a lower camp. This was Schneider’s first attempt at Everest. It is estimated that fewer than 25 percent of climbers make it on their first try.
“Lori Schneider’s summit of Mt. Everest gives hope to people with MS,” says Mary Hartwig, Director of Marketing & Communications, National MS Society – Wisconsin Chapter. “While not all people with MS are physically able to climb mountains, Lori’s achievement demonstrates that with a can-do attitude we can all live our lives as fully as possible. It’s an inspiration.” Schneider was diagnosed with MS in 1999 after the left half of her body became numb. The numbness progressed and she was told that she would be in a wheelchair very soon. With treatment, her symptoms abated and she was able to continue climbing mountains.
Schneider says she is pleased that her summit came close to the time of the first World MS Day and that she could carry the banner. World MS Day has been organized by the London-based Multiple Sclerosis International Federation and by MS Societies in 54 countries around the world. Its goal is to to be a day of unity, strength, and solidarity for people affected by MS across the world.
Schneider climbed Kilimanjaro in 1993, starting herSeven Summits quest. Even then, Lori was experiencing the symptoms of MS with numbness and tingling in her fingers and toes, throughout the Kilimanjaro climb. Over the next six years, she climbed mountains in Africa, Asia, South America, Colorado, France and Switzerland. One year after her official MS diagnosis, she summited Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America on the millennium New Year’s Eve. The remaining Seven Summits climbs followed with Mt. Elbrus in 2002, Denali in 2006, Mt. Kosciuszko, and Vinson Massif in 2008, and finally Everest.
After her Everest expedition, Schneider plans to continue her work as a motivational speaker, raising awareness of MS and helping people move beyond the fear and feelings of being limited. Through her company, Empowerment Through Adventure, she plans to offer adventure and climbing experiences for people with MS. For more information or to follow her climb, www.empowermentthroughadventure.com.
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