Adventurer and environmental conservation manager Jay Schieder will climb up and down Mount Maroon Queensland, Australia until he reaches the same elevation gain and descent as Mount Everest (8848m)(29,030′) for 48 hours beginning on August 31.
This challenge will raise money Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine research. Schieder is a strong advocate for medical research as he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 10 years ago when he was working as a tiger keeper, at 21 years of age. Only 3% to 6% of the world’s population have this chronic condition.
“The pain from the fibromyalgia felt like every bone in my body was broken and in the first one-and-a-half to two years, I couldn’t get out of bed besides doing the bare necessities. As you can imagine that living in isolation in constant severe pain and only sleeping two to three hours a day takes its toll,” Schieder said.
Schieder’s health increasingly improved over a period of seven years with the aid of intense treatment.
“Out of the millions of people in the world who has this illness, I’m one of a handful that is now fully recovered. Doctors generally don’t like to use the word cure, however, they did use that word for me,” Schieder said.
Mount Maroon was chosen for the challenge as it was the first large mountain Schieder tried to summit (unsuccessfully) while recovering from fibromyalgia.
Training in the lead up to the challenge involves weight training six days a week, and after every gym session, Schieder is hill training the equivalent of Mount Maroon.
“On the weekends, I’m scrambling up lots of different mountains and chasing waterfalls,” Schieder said.
Schieder plans to share his story to raise money for a COVID-19 vaccine to improve the quality of life for everyone.
“We all want to go back to some form of normality,” Schieder said.
The inspirational mission of Schieder is to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, to provide hope for those suffering similar chronic illness, to raise money for a COVID-19 vaccine, and to discover endangered plants along the way.
“All donations will go directly to Oxford University Coronavirus vaccine research – we can make a vaccine a reality,” Schieder said.
To donate, visit Schieder’s fundraising page or follow his journey on Instagram.
You can also learn more about the challenge here.