Everest Jump, 'a message of hope' for French sufferer

Kopp walks with the help of stick. Photo: AFP
Kopp walks with the help of stick. Photo: AFP

KATHMANDU, Nepal- A multiple sclerosis diseased person has wished to become the first disabled person to skydive over Mount Everest.

With a noble aim to convey ‘a message of hope’ to others living with various diseases, a 55-year old Frenchman Marc Kopp is in Kathmandu to skydive over word’s highest Peak Mt. Everest.

Kopp, who resides in Longwy, near Luxembourg’s border, has suffered for more than a decade from multiple sclerosis, the degenerative nervous system disease which interrupts the brain’s ability to communicate with the body.

According to experts, such sufferer can lose the ability to speak or walk at any moment. Thus Kopp has managed with walking stick apart from holding on to his skydiver comrade Mario Gervasi who will accompany him on his jump. Anyway he seems glad though the long lasting disease betrayed him since many years back.

‘I am a happy person. Probably a little crazy … just a little. First, happy,’ quoted AFP as 55-year-old Frenchman Marc Kopp as saying in Kathmandu ahead of his scheduled tandem skydive next week.

He has raised 26,000 euros for the trip from friends and well-wishers to materialize his dream.

Before thirteen years ago Kopp, then a senior manager in local government, was energetic, fit and fine. However, suddenly he realized a fog before his eyes. He ignored the blurred vision — a symptom of MS. Then slowly and gradually he felt trouble moving his right leg and could not work even an easiest task.

After a few days of excessive pain in his right leg, an enthusiastic horseman suffered pain in his right arm, hurting his whole right side. Then ill fated Kopp eventually endured pain all through his body.

Diagnosed in 2001 with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a form of MS with almost no prospect of remission, Kopp told to AFP, ‘I thought I was prepared to hear anything, it had taken so long, one year to diagnose the cause. But when I heard the news, it hit me hard.’

He is more confident to successfully skydive over the 8,848 meter highest peak in the planet.  ‘Why not? I would be succeeded in my endeavor and would send a message of hope’ Kopp confidently said, ‘even if you are sick, you are still alive.’

A friend sent Kopp MS-related reports but he couldn’t bear reading them. But his wife was devastated by the disease that the Kopp was suffering and he realized to become bold to face his illness. ‘Seeing her so frightened made me realise I had to be strong’, he said.

Kopp is likely to start his courageous task as early as Monday, but could be extended as it depends on weather.

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