Richard Jarvis, CTO of EMIS, a leading provider of healthcare technology, and Oleg Gavriliuc, a Senior QA Engineer at Amdaris, the digital transformation specialist, are climbing Mont Blanc to raise awareness and funds for PANS PANDAS UK starting today from 17-24th June 2022.

Richard’s goddaughter has been affected by PANS / PANDAS, which are a set of conditions which result in an inflammation of the brain causing a variety of neuro-psychiatric conditions. This includes Behavioural (Developmental) Regression, tics, anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviours, and Motor or Sensory Abnormalities. These conditions are often misdiagnosed or blamed simply on bad behaviour and poor parenting.

As a rarely diagnosed condition, the PANS PANDAS charity is determined to make a difference in the way the conditions are understood by the medical profession and the general public.

Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe, at a height of 4,809m. Richard and Oleg, who will be joined by Romin Tahrani, will climb, hike, and survive sub-zero temperatures and high altitude. At one point, the team will also need to cross the “Death Couloir”.

Richard Jarvis, CTO of EMIS, tells us, “Climbing Mont Blanc is an extremely physical and mental challenge for anyone to undertake, but it is not as tough as trying to cope when your child develops acute onset psychosis! It’s devastating when your son or daughter’s behaviour suddenly changes overnight.

“They experience things that aren’t real, develop hallucinations, tics and a set of debilitating symptoms after either a bacterial or viral infection. Every GP and A&E department in the UK should know about these disorders. More awareness is desperately needed.”

Senior QA Engineer and climbing enthusiast, Oleg Gavriliuc, adds, “PANS PANDAS does a fantastic job of campaigning for more recognition of this condition in the UK, and I hope that this challenge continues the charity’s mission of raising awareness. Amdaris is all about imagining the impossible, but it should no longer be impossible (or very rare) to recognise this condition when children are affected.”

Known for supporting good causes such as planting a client forest as part of their carbon neutral pledge, and working with mental health technology company Paranimo to improve access to mental health resources in the UK, Amdaris is no stranger to this kind of fundraising.

Vicky Burford, Chairperson, PANS PANDAS UK, says, “We are in awe of Richard for undertaking such a mammoth challenge in order to raise funds and awareness for PANS PANDAS UK.  These life-changing conditions affect so many children here in the UK and worldwide and every penny raised makes our work possible.  We cannot thank Richard, Andy and Oleg enough for taking on this incredible feat of strength and bravery in support of the PANS Community here in the UK.”

To donate to Richard and Oleg’s cause, visit their fundraising page here.