First Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient to Summit Mt. Everest, Plans to Scale Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, While Continuing to Bring Awareness to Arthritis Patients

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JGCAF Founder Continues Arduous Climbs to Inspire Children and Others to Achieve Their Dreams

After scaling the world's highest mountain, Jeffrey Gottfurcht, the first patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis to conquer Mount Everest, continues in his series of Seven Summits*, scaling the highest peak on each continent, and plans a December climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak of Africa at 19,340 feet.

Gottfurcht will join a unique club of fewer than 200 individuals who have climbed these seven peaks, and the only one with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Prior to summiting Mount Everest on May 14, 2011, he had scaled Mount Elbrus in Russia, the tallest mountain of Europe at 18,510 feet, in 2008. He climbed Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina, the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas, and the highest in South America at 22,841 feet, on February 13, 2012.

Gottfurcht, the 39-year-old founder of JGCAF (Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children's Arthritis Foundation), a wish-granting organization and former finance executive from the San Francisco Bay Area, had scaled several mountains above 14,000 feet since his teens. At 28, Gottfurcht was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, which attacks the joints and causes inflammation, joint pain and stiffness, while leading to fatigue and permanent joint damage. Without treatment, patients with rheumatoid arthritis may suffer deformity, disability and diminished quality of life – and would certainly not feel up to the grueling task of climbing Mount Everest.

"Adult and child patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an incurable disease. I have been moved to reach out to others who are similarly affected, who we hope to empower to go for their dreams even when they are dealing with this chronic disease. Having achieved my life's dream and goal of climbing Mount Everest, I will work to conquer the other highest peaks around the world to inspire those with rheumatoid arthritis, whether adults or children, to reach higher and achieve their dreams," Gottfurcht said.

In planning this fourth summit, Gottfurcht will undertake an expedition in December, which is the summer season below the equator. He is adhering to the schedule of climbing one summit per year to continue to make dreams come true for children living with juvenile arthritis, until a cure is found.

"We support Jeff and his dedication to the dream of climbing of these magnificent summits to inspire other rheumatoid arthritis patients. The Seven Summit Campaign is parallel to the foundation’s goal of fulfilling dreams of children whose goals are otherwise thwarted by the limits the arthritis imposes upon them," explained Rik J. Deitsch, Chairman and CEO of Nutra Pharma Corporation (OTCBB: NPHC), a key supporter of Gottfurcht's Seven Summits Challenge. Gottfurcht uses the company's medication NyloxinTM, an over-the-counter treatment for chronic pain, to aid in relieving the pain and inflammation that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis. "We want all chronic pain sufferers to understand that, if NyloxinTM can be effective for Jeff during extreme mountain-climbing conditions, just imagine how effective it will be to manage their own everyday pain and inflammation.”

Gottfurcht, the father of three young children, created the JGCAF, a wish-granting organization that grants dream with requests that range from educational and medical costs, big screen computers, meet celebrities, dream vacations or go on shopping sprees. Recently, a child from Chicago, Illinois was granted a dream to visit to Hawaii. Plus, a child in Australia, the first international dream, received a bedroom makeover. Separately, JGCAF will fulfill a young woman’s dream to celebrate her birthday quinceañera in Miami, Florida.

Children ages 4 to 21 afflicted with juvenile arthritis are eligible for a wish grant. The Foundation encourages a member of a child’s medical team (doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist), a parent, sibling or legal guardian to propose a wish for a child suffering from juvenile arthritis. Children with juvenile arthritis may send in their dream request directly. After JGCAF receives the dream request the Foundation works with its network of supporters to make the wish come true. JGCAF’s goal is to grant one dream a month.

To help grant dreams and provide strategic direction to the Foundation, JGCAF has recruited a Dream Board, including:

  •     Karen Ager - Author and tenured teacher at the United Nations International School, New York; diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 17
  •     Lisa Armijo - Mother of a child afflicted with JA and magazine publisher
  •     John D. Gottfurcht - Founder of SSI Investment Management Inc.
  •     Philip Kahn, MD - Pediatric Rheumatologist, New York University School of Medicine
  •     Stuart H. Kaplan, MD - leading dermatologist and creator of kaplanMD Skincare
  •     Richard Lebowitz, MD - FACS-Assoc. Professor of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine; Attending Physician, New York University Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital and the Manhattan Veterans Administration Medical Center
  •     Laura Ling - Vice President, Current TV’s Emmy-nominated Vanguard series
  •     Lisa Ling – Host of Our America with Lisa Ling on the Oprah Winfrey’s new network OWN; Former Field Correspondent, on The Oprah Winfrey Show; Contributor, ABC News' Nightline and National Geographic Explorer
  •     Brittany Lovett - Producer and Animator
  •     Katherine Marzan, MD - Attending Pediatric Rheumatologist, Division of Rheumatology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  •     Andre Poulin - 20+ year-veteran NBC Today Show
  •     Andreas Reiff, MD - Division Head, Division of Rheumatology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  •     Ron Schwary, Academy Award-Winning Producer

EDITORS NOTE: The Seven Summits are Mount Everest (29,029 feet Asia); Cerro Aconagua (22,841 feet, South America); Mount Denali (20,320 feet, North America); Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet, Africa); Mount Elbrus (18,510 feet, Europe); Mount Vinson (16,050 feet, Antarctica); the Carstenz Pyramid (16,024 feet, Oceania) and Mount Kosciuszko (7,310 feet Australia).

About JGCAF: The JGCAF was founded by Jeffrey Gottfurcht as a way to inspire, educate and generate awareness of both rheumatoid and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, as those suffering optimistically await a cure. In 2002, at the age of 28, Gottfurcht was diagnosed with RA and, after undergoing years of treatment; he wanted to share his determination to fight the disease while bringing joy, strength and support to children and young adults similarly afflicted. A wish-granting Foundation, JGCAF accepts referrals for dreams from parents, guardians, siblings, members of the medical community, and directly from children suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The Foundation’s Dream Team helps select dreams that are prudent and possible and assists in making them come true. Help us fulfill a dream of a child living with Juvenile Arthritis today. For more information please call 310.855.3745 or visit http://www.JGCAF.org.

About Nutra Pharma Corp.: Nutra Pharma Corporation operates as a biotechnology company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, including Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Additionally, the Company markets several drug products for sale for the treatment of pain under the brands Cobroxin and Nyloxin. For additional information about Nutra Pharma, visit http://www.NutraPharma.com.

Note: To respect the privacy of its dream recipients, the JGCAF does not disclose their full names.

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