Back in March of this year, a team of of adventurers led by world-renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes set out to cross the Antarctic continent in winter – a feat never before accomplished. The challenge? To travel for six months, across 2,480 miles, where temperatures can fall to –129F. This endeavor also supported Seeing is Believing – a fundraiser focused on raising $10 million to help eradicate blindness in developing countries.
Carestream was among the expedition’s sponsors, supplying the team with our DRX Transportable / Field Portable X-ray System – a rugged digital device that would be invaluable should a team member sustain an injury requiring diagnostic imaging.
The expedition team was confronted with complications and misfortune from early on. First, team leader Fiennes had to pull out after getting a serious case of frostbite in his left hand. Then, the team discovered that the icy terrain was even more treacherous than predicted: they encountered crevasse fields extending for up to 62 miles – far too dangerous to cross with heavy equipment. Finally, in June, the team regretfully called an official halt to the mission to cross Antarctica. However, due to winter weather condition
s, they had to remain in place for an astounding five months until conditions were safe enough to airlift them out. During this time, they performed valuable research and collected data to advance the understanding of the effects of climate change on polar regions.
Several weeks ago on December 2nd, the team, back home, attended the annual Transglob
e Expedition Trust evening at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The audience was enthralled and suitably amazed at the team members’ firsthand accounts of their 11 months on the ice – stories dramatically illustrated with photos and film.
We at Carestream are proud to have been a sponsor of this courageous expedition. And we’re happy to pass along team member Rob Lambert’s final appeal for contributions to support Seeing is Believing.
“As we prepare to leave the continent after a tumultuous year, it falls to me to write the final plea. Although we have failed in our objective to cross Antarctica, it will have escaped nobody’s notice that our other, more important objective was to draw attention to the work of Seeing is Believing. This brilliant charity transforms lives, by helping to treat or prevent avoidable blindness all over the world. To my mind it is one of the very best (and cheapest) ways in which you can help your fellow inhabitants of this beautiful planet.. Remember that every pound, dollar, rand, or euro we raise is doubled by Standard Chartered Bank, so if you’ve enjoyed following the expedition, and have thought about donating, the time is now! Carpe diem, as they say…