Northern Virginia Technology Exec Tweets his Way to the Top
09/09/2009

MS survivor plans 4,400 sq. foot climb and uses latest social media tools to raise $25K for multiple sclerosis.

Online PR News – 09-September-2009 – – This coming week, John Daus will begin a 4,400-foot ascent towards the summit of the second tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Daus will be joined in his “Climbing for a Cause” campaign by more than a hundred close friends and family including John’s nine year old son and his 76 year old aunt. Well, not exactly. John, a Virginia Tech grad with more than 20 years experience in technology, plans to utilize the latest internet and technology advances to keep his supporters updated on his progress throughout the five day climb.

In April 2007, John learned he had Multiple Sclerosis. Thankfully, this often debilitating illness hasn’t gotten the best of this athlete and father of four. Since learning he had MS and understanding that physical exercise has the ability to slow progression of the disease, Daus has competed in several triathlons and 100-mile bike rides. His journey following his diagnosis inspired him to try to create greater awareness of MS and improve the lives of so many disabled by this disease. “I will face low levels of oxygen and possible life-threatening altitude sickness”, says Daus, “but after five days, I will return home. There are many with MS who climb emotional and mental mountains much greater than 4,400 feet, nearly every day of their existence. Some MS sufferers never leave the mountain - their challenges grow and multiply”. To create interest in his climb and quickly reach his goal of raising $25,000 for the National MS Society, Daus harnessed the power of social media. Daus’ innovative strategy focused around the popular and fast growing Twitter micro-blogging platform, which allows users to constantly stay engaged with people of interest in real time, and also FaceBook, a social networking website that allows users to add friends and send them messages and updated profiles about themselves. Throughout his fundraising campaign and now his climb, supporters stay updated on Daus’ physical status, weather conditions and progress. They will be able to see live shots taken by Daus, then immediately uploaded via his iphone.

John has been training for months, building up endurance with long distance runs, weight lifting and local climbing. “Training and the climb itself will be the easy part”, says Daus, “Raising the funds and creating awareness for Multiple Sclerosis is the real challenge and I cannot do it alone”. Those interested in supporting Daus’ Climbing for a Cause campaign can visit his website at http://www.crossingwayfoundation.org/.