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Follow MS patients on an inspiring journey of heartache, determination and hope as they conquer their disease through nordic skiing.

STRETCH GOAL: $25,000 - If we reach $25,000 or over, EVERY BACKER will be invited to an exclusive Google Hangout with the entire team!  We'll share our Kickstarter story and give advice on running your own Kickstarter!  What worked, what didn't, the challenges we faced and how we overcame them...we'll share all followed by a Q&A session where you can ask anything you want!

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Over two million people suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating disease that attacks the victim’s nervous system. There’s no cure for the disease.

Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s vital for MS patients. Studies show that it helps reduce fatigue and has many other positive benefits for people with MS. We filmed six courageous people with MS — three in the US and three in Norway — to hear their stories of the devastation of their diagnosis and how exercise has given them hope. 

Skiing helps people with MS.  (With Bjorn Daehlie, Katie Brekke and Ian Duncan)
Skiing helps people with MS. (With Bjorn Daehlie, Katie Brekke and Ian Duncan)

Throughout the film, we explore the story of MS with experts from around the world and hear how living a healthy, active lifestyle can benefit people with MS.  We also describe the origins of the disease and how one particular people — the Vikings — may have helped spread the disease through their genes and lust for travel. 

Each of our courageous subjects chose cross-country (Nordic) skiing as their exercise of choice. We marvel at their experiences as they reach for their ultimate goal: to take part one of the most famous marathon ski races in the world — the Birkebeiners!

The Filmmakers

Steinar Hybertsen: I’m a Norwegian-American living in Colorado, and I’ve been making documentaries for over ten years, including films about Henrik Ibsen, Kaare Ness, and the Marshall Plan. The discovery of MS and its connection with the Vikings intrigued me. As a cross-country skier and a participant in both the American Birkebeiner and the Norwegian Birkebeiner for years, I saw a connection. I'd love for our film to be seen all over the world and inspire people with MS to exercise no matter what their level of disability. This is a story that has to be told through skiers with MS and the people involved in this research.

Ian Duncan: I’m the film’s medical/scientific advisor and a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I’ve researched MS for over 25 years, focusing on brain repair in people with chronic MS. In three to four years, we hope to take the results of my work and move to the first clinical trial of its kind. I’m also an active cross-country skier and have competed in both Norwegian and American Birkebeiner races. Additionally, I’m a member of the National MS Society’s Hall of Fame as both a research scientist and fundraiser.

The Need

Our documentary is almost finished, but we need funds to pay the remaining costs that allow for the production of a high-quality film.

Showing the Documentary

Along with the exclusive private screenings, the documentary will be shown on Public Television stations in the Midwest and Norway. With your help, we hope to broaden its reach to cover many more areas and nations around the world. We also plan to enter it in a number of film festivals both here and abroad.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We face the common risks that all projects face, namely delays in potential challenges with fulfillment, delays in the post production phase and unforseen issues.

However, we've been planning this project for a long time and we've done everything we can to address them. We pledge to be transparent and up-front with ANY issues that might arise and do everything in our power to make them right!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Your support spreads awareness of MS and the benefits of nordic skiing. You did good! Our deepest gratitude.

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    Digital HD Download - You'll receive an HD 1080p digital download of the film and our eternal thanks! The download will be exclusively available to Kickstarter backers only - you won't find it anywhere else!

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    Physical DVD - You'll receive a physical DVD of the film and my personal note of thanks for your support! In addition, you'll have access to the 1080p HD digital download.

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    Personalized poster of 6-time Olympic medalist Vegard Ulvang + Digital HD Download - Get a personalized, autographed poster of 6-time Olympic medalist Vegard Ulvang + an HD 1080p digital copy of the film! Vegard is featured in the film and has won 3 Olympic gold medals!

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    Personalized poster of 8-time Olympic gold medalist Bjorn Daehlie + Digital HD Download - Get a personalized, autographed poster of the most successful winter Olympian of all time, 8-time Olympic gold medalist Bjron Daehlie + an HD 1080p digital copy of the film! Bjorn's mother is affected by MS and Bjorn and his mother are featured in this film.

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    Google Hangout w/ film's stars + Digital HD Download + Behind the Scenes Footage - You'll get an HD 1080p digital copy of the film plus behind the scenes footage including hilarious moments + participate in an exclusive Google+ Hangout with the film's stars Katie and Eric! This is a Q&A hangout where anything goes - ask them about their experiences living with MS. Ask them how skiing has helped them cope. Ask them what advice they have for people recently diagnosed or for what research needs to happen.

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    Google+ Hangout with Ian and Steinar + Digital HD Download + Behind the Scenes Footage - You'll get an HD 1080p digital copy of the film + behind the scenes footage including hilarious moments + participate in an exclusive, private Google+ Hangout with me, filmmaker Steinar and world-renowned MS researcher Ian Duncan!

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    Private film screening in Madison, WI and Q&A with Ian Duncan - You get exclusive access to a private screening of the film in Madison, WI with world-renowned researcher Ian Duncan + Ian will host a no-hold-barred Q&A following the film + get an HD 1080p download of the film.

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    Private film screening in CO with me (the filmmaker) and Q&A - You get exclusive access to a private screening of the film in Edwards, CO with me, filmmaker Steinar Hybertsen! I'll host a Q&A following the film + get an HD 1080p download of the film. Ever want to learn how to film a documentary? I'll tell you everything I know!

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    Private film screening at the American Birkebeiner near Hayward, WI! - This is it! Celebrate the Birkie with this exclusive private film screening with everyone involved with this film - Ian, Katie, Eric, myself (Steinar) and more. This screening will take place before the 2014 American Birkebeiner + receive an HD 1080p digital download of the film.

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    Associate Producer - Be credited in the film as an Associate Producer! You'll be in the films credits and in IMDB + get exclusive access to a private film screening of your choice (Madion or Hayward, WI or Edwards, CO) + A Google+ Hangout with the filmmakers + a second Google+ Hangout with the films stars + get an HD 1080p digital copy of the film!

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Funding period

- (35 days)