Young Arthritis Network

Sunday, May 22, 2011

RA superhero climbs Everest

Have you heard of Jeffrey Gottfurcht???After reading this you’ll never forget the name. 

On 14th of May 2011 Jeffrey Gottfurcht reached 30,000ft to the TOP OF THE WORLD Mt. Everest but this is not what makes him unique on May 14th he became the first person with Rheumatoid Arthritis to reach the top of Everest.

Diagnosed with RA at the age of 28 his diagnosis didn’t stop him . He become an advocate for people with arthritis furthermore he is the founder of  The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation.

Everest is like the Olympics of climbing, which many sportspeople aspire to reach. An uphill battle & a challenge many will never attempt but not Jeffrey Gottfurcht. He didn’t let RA take him down nor did he give up on something he loved instead this man did the unimaginable he went above and beyond to the top of the world.

The road to Everest is tough it requires many years of training according to Ian Taylor  the youngest Irish person to climb Everest .The statistics are not exactly positive with 1 person in every 10 who make it failing to return. As one moves from base camp 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 oxygen levels decrease and Ian Taylor describes a basic task as difficult a simple walk across the room can take up to 5 minutes (sound familiar??). At altitude our body becomes weaker we are exposed to risks such as acute mountain sickness, pulmonary edema, ataxia, blood clotting and the list goes on so for a person with RA to undertake this challenge in my opinion is nothing short of amazing.

I don’t have to tell anyone that living with arthritis can be a struggle. It’s not easy we’ve all had mornings when our body won’t allow us to leave our bed let alone move an inch so when I heard a guy with RA was going to take on Everest I honestly thought it couldn’t be true. Instead of looking at his disease as barrier he thought of it as a challenge to overcome. The sheer challenge of Everest is unimaginable just think climbing as oxygen levels decrease, the body becomes weaker it slows down but top this with RA challenging is an underestimation.

So his motivation behind this trip a selfless act to make a difference to the lives of children with Juvenile Arthritis by raising awareness of his charity the Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation a make a wish foundation for children with JA.

Some people are born to make a difference & this man is definitely one – a modern day superhero. One man has broken down barriers & given hope to people worldwide with RA . He is an amazing advocate, one which the arthritis community is proud to have.

On a personal note I’ve followed this journey closely & when I found out Jeffrey had reached the top I’ll admit it I cried & cried with happiness. To say it’s touched my life is an understatement it’s done much more than this it’s given me hope that my dreams are achievable now more than ever & if I work hard I’ll achieve them.

Jeffrey from the Young Arthritis Network we salute & thank you ...What an incredible journey.

“There are no borders, no limits and no frontier. Just keep moving, and do exactly what you set out to do.”

      Jeffrey Gottfurcht.

More info on JGCAF

Images are not my own copyright @ Nutrapharma

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