Doug Oppenheim & Jeremy Rogers 2008 South Pole Expedition
Thank you for visiting southpole2008.org, where we hope you will learn more about motor neurone disease and our expedition to attempt to ski from the Antarctic Coast to the South Pole. We are making this journey to raise funds for the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). This landmark initiative will create the world's first, stand alone institute dedicated to bringing an end to MND.
We will post updates on our preparations ahead of our departure in mid November and during the expedition itself, so please be sure to visit regularly!
Lastly and most importantly, you will also find a link to a secure site where you can donate to the SITraN campaign. Please remember that 100% of your donation will go directly to SITraN and that every pound brings us a step closer to making SITraN a reality.
Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement.
With best wishes,
Doug Oppenheim & Jeremy Rogers
2008 South Pole Expedition to Raise Money for the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience
Doug Oppenheim and Jeremy Rogers, above, are on a 55-day skiing expedition across some of the most hostile landscapes on the planet. They set off last month and have already raised 600,000 for the institute.
The expedition will see the 32 year-olds ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole – a two month journey during which they will travel 1,000 kilometres through some of the most challenging terrains on earth.
Skiing To the South Pole For Charity Website Launched
Oct. 31, 2008 - PRLog
London, England – October 23, 2008
Doug Oppenheim and Jeremy Rogers are skiing to the South Pole in November in order to raise funds and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease. The pair have launched a website, http:///www.southpole2008.org where you can keep up to date with their progress and donate to the charity fund.
The website has been designed and built by Moore Wilson New Media. Steve Wilson MD said “We were very happy to design and build the South Pole 2008 website. It’s a brave thing that Doug and Jeremy are undertaking and hopefully the website can help them raise even more money for the project.”
The money raised will go to the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). This landmark initiative will create the world's first, stand alone institute dedicated to bringing an end to MND. Using the donate now button on the website will allow you to give money directly to SITraN.
Antarctica, one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, has a mass that is one and a half times the land mass of the USA. Not only is it the coldest of all the continents, it is the windiest and has the highest average elevation.
Winter temperatures can drop as low as –90c, while in summer they rise to between -30c and -20c. Due to its elevation. the South Pole's temperatures never rise much above -30c (At the coast, summer does see temperatures of 5c and sometimes as much as 15c.)
Posts of the 2008 Expedition From ExplorersWeb.com
- ANI Messner start Eric Larsen, Jeremy Rogers, Doug Oppenheim, Daragh Horgan and Jill Maxwell
They are scheduled to fly in on 15 Nov. 2008(weather permitting)
- ANI Messner start Eric Larsen (leader), Jeremy Rogers, Doug Oppenheim, Daragh Horgan and Luc
Daraghs home team reported the team expect to reach the South Pole about 8 days after Christmas, on the 2nd or 3rd January.
Daragh’s home team also reported, "Quick note on Jeremy’s plans. He has the logistics in place to kite a return journey from the Pole back to the coast, using the katabatic winds that are currently blowing against them. He would be doing this in the company of a Norwegian who has made the trip before."
In Daragh’s own words, "Antarctica is a land of paradoxes: beautiful yet fiercely cruel, vast yet defined by its detail. Today, standing at 90 degrees south - literally the end of the earth. I have at least reconciled one of the paradoxes: that it is possible for individuals, humbled by her power, to travel through this land and, with her leave, enjoy a moment of triumph."
- A second ALE guided trip... Eric Larsen (leader), Jeremy Rogers, Doug Oppenheim, Daragh Horgan and Luc
...used the Messner route (which he and Fuchs pioneered in 1989-90) starting from the Ronne Ice Shelf at 82°10'S-65°W. They were guided by Eric Larsen; the five others include Daragh Horgan from Ireland, Australian doctor Jill Maxwell, and Londoners Doug Oppenheim and Jeremy Rogers. They flew to PH on 21 November and to the starting point the next day. At the beginning of December Jill decided to abandon the effort and was flown back to PH. The rest of the team completed their journey on 4 January. After reaching Pole, Jeremy kited back to PH along with Norwegian guide Ronny Finsaas (Ronny is a chef at PH). The return took 10 days, they arrived on the 15th.
- ANI Messner start " Eric Larsen (leader), Jeremy Rogers, Doug Oppenheim, Daragh Horgan and Luc Reynders
The team arrived on 3 January 2009 at the South Pole at about 7 pm reported Daragh’s home team. They explained about happenings during the last degree, "Luc is suffering physical fatigue, Doug has ankle problems and Daragh is taking painkillers in an attempt to ignore his left hip and what he thinks is an injured hamstring. Add these to the previous ailments, the ever-present blisters etc, which won’t really have chance to heal until they finish, and with the weather and snow conditions you can see why progress is fairly painful!"
"So for two days after Christmas the team travelled for 4 hours per day instead of the usual 8. All are said to be "doing good" though and they are redistributing the weight in the sleds as needed."
- ANI Messner start to Patriot Hills " Eric Larsen (leader), Jeremy Rogers, Doug Oppenheim, Daragh Horgan and Luc Reynders
Norwegian leader and Jeremy Rogers
Jeremy, who was part of Eric Larsen’s team will be kiting back to Patriot Hills.
A report from the South Pole: “So many thoughts and emotions go through ones head at the end. Certainly there is a feeling of relief at having reached our goal,” wrote Jeremy and Doug on their website. “At the same time it is hard not to think of the people in whose footsteps we have followed – Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott. They did not have the advantages, knowledge, equipment and nutrition that we have and for them reaching the pole was only their halfway point.”
Quotes about Luc Reynders from his Co-Adventurers
Doug Oppenheim - Antractica 2008
"During our travels through Antarctica we forged strong bonds of friendship. Luc Reynders, our Belgian friend, was a tower of inner strength and set a great example with his resilience. I wish him well in his future endeavours."
Jeremy Rogers - Antractica 2008
"Luc's pain threshold is worryingly high. By the time we reached the polar plateau he had big blisters, frost bitten fingers, and swollen legs; yet stopping never seemed to be considered. Luc was also our resident poet. While the rest of us feasted on ipods to keep us going, Luc listened to nothing. He said he wanted to enjoy every bit of the silence, every bit of Antarctica."
Eric Larson - Antractica 2008
"I was very pleased to have Luc as a client on the ALE ski South Pole - Messner start expedition. He was a quiet, thoughtful team member who always gave a little extra. It was obvious to see his strength and determination shine through as he pushed through the final grueling miles to the geographic South Pole. Luc was an integral factor in our team's ability to reach this incredible goal."
"The Sheffield Institute Foundation for Motor Neurone Disease (SIF) was a fund raising Charity created in 2007 by a group of Patrons who decided to help research in finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease. The idea of creating a research Institute seemed to be the best way to fulfil that objective.
Based on the ground breaking work done in Sheffield by Professor Pamela Shaw and the impressive publications of this work in numerous scientific journals, the Patrons agreed that they would support Professor Pam Shaw's team and raise enough money to build a research Institute for Motor Neurone Disease in Sheffield. The sum to be raised was £15million.
The Sheffield University gave the land on which the Institute would be built and matched the first £5million raised by the SIF Patrons giving a head start to this project.
The Duke of Devonshire accepted to become the Honorary Patron of SIF and lent Chatsworth for several dinner parties to thank successful fundraisers and help to raise new funds.
In 2010 SIF and the University had raised £18 million. The building works could start. The Institute was to be called the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) it would work mostly on MND but also on Parkinson's, Alzheimer and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) as there is common ground between them all. The vision of SITraN is to take scientific discoveries in MND and related disorders and translate these into benefits for patients in the clinic.
In November 2010 SITraN was inaugurated by HM The Queen and Prince Philip.
Motor Neurone Disease
During 1999 and 2004, MND killed 6,000 people – more than CJD (93) and HIV/Aids (4,600) deaths put together, but the difference in government funding is stark. Compared to the 33m and 45m awarded to CJD and HIV/Aids research, MND was given 8m – hence the name "the forgotten disease".
MND attacks the nerve cells through which the brain and spinal cord send instructions – sapping muscles of their control. Little by little, sufferers stop being able to move around, to talk, to function, and eventually stop being able to breathe.