PITTSBURGH, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Will Cross, who last year became the
first person with diabetes to reach the South Pole, attempted to reach the
summit of Mt. Everest on May 17, 2004, but was forced to turn back because of
extreme exhaustion and a shortage of oxygen.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040521/NYF013 )
Will Cross, a 37-year-old high school principal from Pittsburgh with type
1 diabetes, began his ascent of the south side of Mt. Everest on April 1,
2004. Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is a challenging climb
for any adventurer, let alone a man with diabetes.
During the seven-hour summit attempt, Cross' oxygen supply was in danger
of running out. "Limited supplies of oxygen at an altitude of 27,500 feet,
combined with temperatures of - 20 degrees C to - 30 degrees C, hypothermia
and exhaustion, made it impossible for me to reach the summit," reported Will
Cross via satellite phone from base camp on Mt. Everest. "To avoid a
potentially lethal situation, I knew I had to turn around. Thanks to my
Sherpa, who provided me with the oxygen I needed to make it safely back, I was
able to reunite with my wife, Amy, at base camp. Meeting Amy at base camp was
the most emotional and memorable part of this experience. I am grateful for
her support and the incredible teamwork on and off the mountain that made this
dream become a reality."
As a type 1 diabetes patient, Will carefully controlled his blood glucose
levels using NovoLog(R) insulin and long-acting Novolin(R), and followed a
carefully determined diet of 3,500 calories per day. The climate of Mt.
Everest is naturally extreme and at no time of the year does the temperature
on the summit rise above freezing. Howling winds, little oxygen, avalanches
and unpredictable weather also contribute to the severe conditions on the
"After a grueling climb and months of planning, training and preparation,
it is exhilarating to have this climb behind me," said Cross. "Climbing Mount
Everest was the most challenging task I have ever endured. I was not hindered
by my disease, but by exhaustion that any climber could encounter and by
equipment problems. I am extremely pleased with the way my health held up for
the duration of the climb and I hope this sends a clear message to people
living with diabetes that if they carefully control their disease, they can
attempt to tackle anything."
The 26.9 mile uphill Everest climb was the most challenging climb of the
NovoLog(R) Peaks and Poles Challenge, which consists of a two-year odyssey
where Cross will walk to both the North and South Poles, and climb the seven
highest peaks on each continent.
Next on his agenda, Cross will attempt Mt. Elbrus, the Cartenz Pyramid and
try once more to summit Mt. Everest. Cross added that he looks forward to
conquering Everest in the future and believes he will succeed by taking longer
breaks and utilizing his oxygen more efficiently.
Further information can be found at www.peaksandpoles.com.
About the NovoLog(R) Peaks and Poles Challenge
The Peaks and Poles Challenge is the pinnacle of exploration achievement
that involves walking to both Poles and summiting the highest peak on each of
the seven continents. Will Cross is taking on the challenge, and if
successful, would be the first American and person with diabetes to ever
complete such an endeavor. Challenge stops include:
North & South Poles
Mount Denali, Alaska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica
Mount Everest, Nepal
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Aconcagua, Argentina
Mount Elbrus, Georgia (Summer 2005)
Carstenz Pyramid, Indonesia (Fall 2005)
NOTE TO EDITORS:
* LIVE SATELLITE MEDIA TOUR FROM NEPAL SCHEDULED FOR MAY 24, 2004
* INTERVIEWS WITH WILL CROSS AVAILABLE FROM EACH TREK, VIA SATELLITE
PHONE AND E-MAIL
* PHOTOS AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE TREKS
* DAILY UPDATES FROM CLIMBS CAN BE VIEWED ON THE WEBSITE:
SOURCE Novo Nordisk