First Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Summits Mount Everest
Founder of The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation Completes Dream Quest to Conquer the World’s Highest Mountain in Hopes of Inspiring Children and Others to Achieve Their Dreams
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 27, 2011
Jeffrey Gottfurcht has achieved the amazing feat of climbing Mount Everest.* Not only did he reach the summit under extremely treacherous conditions that led others to postpone their climbs, he is the first patient with rheumatoid arthritis to conquer the world’s highest peak: 29,035 feet.
Gottfurcht, the 38-year-old founder of The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation (JGCAF) and former finance executive from the San Francisco Bay area, had scaled several mountains above 14,000 feet since his teens. At 28, Gottfurcht was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, which attacks the joints and causes inflammation, joint pain and stiffness, while leading to fatigue and permanent joint damage. Without treatment, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may suffer deformity, disability and diminished quality of life ““ and would certainly not feel up to the grueling task of climbing Mount Everest.
“In coping with rheumatoid arthritis, an incurable disease, I have been moved to reach out to others who are similarly affected, especially children, who have to put everything on hold, including their dreams. My goal of climbing Mount Everest was to inspire those with rheumatoid arthritis, whether adults or children, to reach higher and achieve their dreams,” Gottfurcht said.
Highlights of the two-month trip include the overnight climb from Camp 4 (26,000 feet) to reach the summit and return to the camp. With winds at 50 – 70 mph, several other teams headed down, while Gottfurcht, five climbers and five Sherpas planned their ascent. Leaving at 8:30 pm as planned, the group headed for the summit, hoping the wind would die down (it did not). It took four hours to reach the milestone of the balcony, where they saw the body of a climber who had died from high altitude cerebral edema, a day before. Gottfurcht and his Sherpa continued and scaled the last few hundred feet as the sun rose, reaching the summit at 6:10 am. They rejoiced for five minutes, until the wind and cold spurred them to descend. As they rejoined their fellow climbers, they learned that one had suffered frostbite in both his hands and feet, and blindness in both eyes. Another Sherpa had frostbite in his feet and a second Sherpa had blindness in his eyes. Somewhat later, Gottfurcht himself went blind and relied on the Sherpa who accompanied him to the summit to guide him down. Taking the greatest care and using special techniques, the members of the group descended slowly, slowly. After climbing for 25 hours straight, without food, water or rests, they returned to Camp 2 at 9:30 pm the following night. Fortunately, Gottfurcht’s corneas, which had frozen from the wind and cold, gradually recovered and his sight returned.
A key supporter of Gottfurcht’s climb is Rik J. Deitsch, Chairman and CEO of Nutra Pharma Corporation (OTCBB: NPHC), a biotechnology company that is developing treatments for Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and pain. Gottfurcht uses the company’s medication Nyloxin Ã¢“¢, an over-the-counter treatment for chronic pain, to aid in relieving the pain and inflammation that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis. According to Deitsch, “As a sponsor of Jeffrey on his historic Everest climb, we want people to become aware of rheumatoid arthritis and Jeffrey’s Foundation. We want all chronic pain sufferers — and medical professionals — to understand that, if Nyloxin can be effective in this extreme use and in this extreme activity, imagine how effective it will be to manage the everyday pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.”
Gottfurcht, the father of three young children, created the JGCAF, a wish-granting organization that grants dreams””ranging from requests to help cover educational and medical costs to requests for big screen computers or Wii systems to help a child affected by RA to cope with limited visibility or mobility. Some dream requests are from juvenile arthritis patients seeking a moment to connect with a revered sports or pop culture icon to help them endure the intense pain of everyday life and medical treatment.
Children age 4 to 21 afflicted with juvenile arthritis are eligible for a “wish grant.” The Foundation encourages a member of a child’s medical team (doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist), a parent, sibling or legal guardian to propose a wish for a child suffering from juvenile arthritis. Children with juvenile arthritis may send in their dream request directly. After JGCAF receives the dream request, the Foundation contacts the child’s treating physician to determine if the child is medically eligible for the requested wish””and then works with its network of supporters to make the wish come true.
*EDITORS NOTE: Images and video of climb available upon request.
The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation was founded by Jeffrey Gottfurcht as a way to inspire, educate and generate awareness of both rheumatoid and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, as those suffering optimistically await a cure. In 2002, at the age of 28, Gottfurcht was diagnosed with RA and after undergoing years of treatment; he wanted to share his determination to fight the disease while bringing joy, strength and support to children and young adults similarly afflicted. A wish-granting Foundation, JGCAF accepts referrals for dreams from parents, guardians, siblings, members of the medical community, and directly from children suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The Foundation’s Dream Team helps select dreams that are prudent and possible and assists in making them come true. Help us fulfill a dream of a child living with Juvenile Arthritis today. For more information please call 310.855.3745 or visit http://www.JGCAF.org.
About Nutra Pharma Corp.
Nutra Pharma Corporation operates as a biotechnology company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, including Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Additionally, the Company markets several drug products for sale for the treatment of pain under the brands Cobroxin and Nyloxin. For additional information about Nutra Pharma, visit http://www.NutraPharma.com.
Note: To respect the privacy of its dream recipients, the JGCAF does not disclose their full names.
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