First Disabled Man to Skydive Over Mount Everest

First Disabled Man to Skydive Over Mount Everest

Frenchman Marc Kopp with multiple sclerosis pulled off a feat that would make many able-bodied people weak in the knees – skydiving over the highest mountain in the world Sunday morning the 27th of October 2013.

After successfully completing his landing, Kopp was taken to a Kathmandu hospital as a precautionary measure. The doctors checked him for any injuries that might have sustained during the jump. “I feel very happy. I am exhausted but very happy,” Marc Kopp said from a hospital bed in Kathmandu.

The 55 year old was diagnosed in 2001 with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a form of the disease with almost no possibility of diminution. Multiple Sclerosis is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that causes disruption in the brain’s ability to communicate with the body. In its worst case scenario, patients can lose the ability to speak or walk.

In order to reach the airstrip for the jump, Kopp – who normally uses a wheelchair – had to trek through the Himalayas which involved spending a major part of the day riding a horse. This was quite hard on his spine. “There were many times in the last few days when I thought I wouldn’t be able to realize my dream,” he said.

The tandem dive with his friend, champion skydiver Mario Gervasi, saw Kopp jump out of a helicopter at 10,000 meters (32,800 feet) above the mountain. Kopp expressed that the training involved for the jump was “very painful” and left his whole body hurting.

“I hope my action will inspire others living with this illness. I hope many more will follow in my footsteps,” Kopp said.

He currently volunteers and runs a support group for fellow patients.

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