From Fire to Ice
London United Kingdom.
The 'From Fire To Ice' expedition will be the first time a non-military burns survivor will attempt to reach the Geographical South Pole by completing Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Unfinished Journey (January 1909).
During the expedition genetic research will be carried out into why some people have a 'survival advantage' hidden deep inside their genetic makeup. The result of keystone research may help answer the question: why do some people live and others die when faced with the same trauma?
In January 2010, Rob's life changed forever. While working in Zanzibar the house he was occupying caught fir trapping him inside. Sustaining a 43% total body surface burn and with a 27% chance of survival, over 200 days in hospital, 30 operations (so far) and the pain of having to learn to walk again, medical staff fought to save his life.
Before, during and after the expedition the medical members of the team will perform tests while monitoring Rob's physiology in an extremely arduous environment.
The 'X' Gene...
The medical team are hoping to determine if there are any clues in the body's response to extreme stress when faced with cold and sustained exercise that will trigger a genetic switch - the same switch which allowed Rob to survive a devastating burn.
During December 2016 extending into January 2017, the team will be flown from Punta Arenas (Chile) at the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic base camp at Union Glacier. After a few days acclimatisation, the team will then fly to latitude 88 23 South. – the furthest point South that Shackleton reached in January 1909.