Jacqueline Lorquet


My name's Jacqueline Lorquet, I've been married for forty years now. I am 61. My husband's called Jan. We have three children and six grand children aged from 1 to 14.

I was diagnosed with MS in April 2008. From the first day onwards I decided not to let myself get trapped by the disease, I wanted to do sports regularly so as to develop as many muscle fibers as possible and be prepared in case of problems.

The Toubkal project is a challenge; I would never have thought I would be able to climb again as high as 4,000 meters. I thought those days were gone, because of my age and because of the health issue which did catch up with me.

My wish is first and foremost to live a special human experience, to meet people who have followed a similar path, and to share the present moment. We are very lucky to be able to go through that adventure within such a specific framework, accompanied as we are by doctors, coaches, guides, etc. Everything is there to make the project work.

My dearest hope is for us all to get to the top of Mount Toubkal.


Danièle Noirfalise

I have been a PE teacher for nearly 30 years now, but I started running only very late. At my own pace (far from big performances) I have discovered the pleasure of taking part in some beautiful races and half-marathons.

When I heard I had MS, I gave up all my objectives in sport. The only ones that have filled my life since are those of my husband who is a triathlete.

This Toubkal 2011 project couldn’t have happened at a better time in my life, just as I needed to think about myself, to have something that belongs to me, some motivation to start being sporty again. Life has challenged me through this disease.

I just hope now that because of it I will live an extraordinary human experience in sports and that what I will learn from it will help me face any challenge MS will throw at me in the future. I'm not afraid of the physical effort; the only thing that worries me in this trek is how I will manage all the accumulated fatigue.

I can already tell that this adventure will be about breaking our personal boundaries, about helping each other, and about giving oneself time for some deep reflection.

I feel that we will have a truly happy time, enhanced by the fact that this happiness will be shared. I hope that through this documentary, when seeing our own attitudes, people who have this disease and those around them will see MS differently.


Gaetane Boeur


I was born in Libramont 46 years ago and I am the second child of a family of four. I have not left the Ardennes ever since, except for a few years when I went to study in Louvain-La-Neuve. I have been married for twenty years to an exceptional man and we have two grown-up sons (17 and 19) who are as wonderful.

The story of MS started for me in 2006 with severe itching on the shoulder blade and the right breast, followed by sensations of electric shocks and then loss of sensitivity on the right side. Having dismissed the possibility of shingles, we carried on with MRI scans and these showed multiple lesions in the spine and the head. The diagnosis was clear: it was MS. The lumbar puncture confirmed this diagnosis, there was no mistake. The lack of sensitivity on my right side disappeared after a few weeks.

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Daniel Coppe

Daniel Coppe, 48 years old, married, three children (two daughters aged 20 and 23 and one son aged 10), working as a nurse.

I was diagnosed with MS less than two years ago and it's being treated with a Tysabri infusion every 28 days. For me, being part of this project is a way of showing my daily routine, of sharing with humility what I believe is essential to live in the best possible way with this disease.

I am therefore highly motivated to take part in the trek, some of the reasons are:

  • I think that doing sport on a regular basis is beneficial to keeping the best of one's physical capacity.
  • taking up challenges has always been part of my life. Suffering from a severe disease should not change my outlook on life.
  • I want to change the image that some people may have of MS. A lot of research in the last few years have led to new treatments and have improved prognosis. A wonderful glimmer of hope!
  • I believe it is possible to accept the presence of a severe pathology in your life.

That stance can in fact help go through this forced experience in a much better way. I am well aware that such a project may look like one drop in the ocean but I do hope it will help people understand the disease better. En route to the Toubkal!


Marc Gaspar

Hello everyone!

My name is Marc Gaspar, born on 2 February 1962. I have been living in Charneux, a charming little village near Herve since 1990. I am married and have three children: Coraline, Aymeric, Alois.

My first rendez-vous with MS was on 21 September 2009. I was seeing double. The second one was on a weekend, on 20 February 2010, when my eyesight played up again for two to three days. The third one, I am still waiting for. I have got time to wait, I'm in no hurry.

So with this first outbreak on 21 September 2009, I was seeing double, I spent ten days in hospital, had my eyes tested, MRI, scanner, blood test, MRI of the spine, lumbar puncture… the whole caboodle. On 2 November, my neurologist at the time spent just about 10 minutes to give me the news: "You have MS. There is no treatment, only steroid injections in case of outbreaks."

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Alexandre Lo Sardo

Hi, I'm Alexandro Lo Sardo. I was born on 30 March 1984. I have been suffering from MS for several years now. I was diagnosed in January 2008. At the time I said to myself that I would need a lot of efforts to maintain some balance in my life. And sport has definitely helped me tremendously. I was doing a lot of cycling when I was a student and I had to do less when I started working as a carpenter. Since I took up sports again, I have been feeling much better, both within my body and within my mind. What really matters to me with this disease is to have my family around me, as well as a competent and family-like team of professionals, and to keep having projects.

I have many passions: I like soul music and progressive music from the 70s. I really appreciate travelling with my partner. In fact, the photo you see here was taken while we were walking around in Corsica. I love sports and the fact that they force you to surpass yourself. Another passion of mine is cars and their history. When I was told about the Toubkal project, I thought that even if it would not be demanding physically for me, it would be a unique experience for me and for those people who suffer from MS. This is a bold project and it will force us to go beyond our limitations for ourselves and for the others. I see being part of this project as a privilege. Progress in research and the BESEP team have helped me keep the same quality of life. Being able to give another image of MS, a more active, more positive image is important and unique.

Thank you again to those people who have made such a huge project possible. I'll see you soon! Alex.



A disease so tiny
Not that scary really
It came to me
Not that early
It changed my life It helped me grow up to 25
My own life struggle
As old as I am
It taught me the extent to which
Sport could be important
It showed me how my fear of the way people see me
Can be disturbing
Could they still see us the same way?
MS Hardly known
Yet so badly known
Toubkal It came to me
Some kind of message
Some hope some challenge
Wonderful project
To change that image
People can project
To show that after all
With or without disease
You can make it
If you really want it.



My name is Martine, I am 28 years old. I remember my 17th birthday quite well: I spent it in hospital, and was diagnosed with MS, my poisoned gift! Great, thank you very much, you shouldn't have!! That said, I am lucky, the kind of MS I have is not very progressive, and now, nearly 12 years later (how time flies!), I endeavour, in spite of the fatigue, to lead a full life. I have a full-time job, I have some evening activities, such as a language course, theatre, I go out at the weekend and I also do a fair amount of sport.

So I welcome the Toubkal project with much enthusiasm. For me it is a physical and mental challenge that will force me, I hope, to go beyond my own limitations, and that it will help me come to terms with the disease even better. But I also especially want this adventure to help other people. Those who suffer from MS, their family and friends, so that they see that many things are possible still, that a chronic disease does not shut all the doors. Sure, some doors are more difficult to open, but that does not mean you have to stop living or stop loving life…

Being able to take part in this project is a wonderful privilege. And I want to thank the organisers, as well as the coaches, of BESEP for their dedication. However, this does not mean that I'll go climbing fearlessly. I still have difficulty talking about this disease. It's not always easy to convince those around you that you hope in spite of it all that you will be able to lead a normal life for many years, I mean without ending up in a wheelchair. I also hope that this project will contribute to removing the label some people tend to stick on our forehead! See you soon, for more adventures. Martine


Pascal Gérard

My name is Pascal Gérard. I'm married and I have two children (Marie and Firmin). I am responsible for the Mouzaive quarry (sandstone shale quarry near Bouillon, Southern part of Belgium). I was diagnosed with MS in February 1999. It was really hard to come to terms with this but my family, my job and my sport have helped me overcome this ordeal.

The Toubkal project is a wonderful challenge, and I am highly motivated to climb the mount without too much trouble. Our group reminds me of a sport team that moves in the same direction, with an extraordinary coach who is like a mother to us! I would expect from this experience that it brings me more confidence in my body and in my mind and I would like to think that the most important thing is to be happy. I would like it if my life could continue as it is now, and that my wife and children could be as happy as possible.

And finally I want to thank my neurologist, Frédérique Claes, who asked me to take part in this superb adventure which already brings much pleasure!



What a long way I've come since I got the news… And all my projects have never stopped growing…

After a start punctuated by too many outbreaks, I have had to adapt, and change job, for sure, but also carry on with a professional life that's different from what I had imagined… slow down… to go a longer way. And then, since 2000, the fits have been less frequent, with some steroid injections back in 2007, and then again only in 2010.

Today only a few scars are visible, and yet these are enough for me not to forget… and I continue to be relatively well… maybe I'm lucky. There are highs and lows of course, and unfortunately, with this disease you have to have more than just willingness. Just wanting something in order to get it would be much too easy! Unfortunately we have no control on the progress of this illness. All you can do is try and do everything you can to get prepared and whenever possible to continue to move forward.

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Marie, 57 years old, three children (20, 22 and 23).

Had the first symptoms of MS in 2000 and has been on a weekly Avonex treatment for the last two years.

I started doing sports a year ago when I joined BESEP in Liège. I highly benefitted from the training sessions, not just my body but mainly my morale. When the coach asked me to take part in the Toubkal 2011 project I was really surprised but then also so thrilled!

We are a well-knit team as we have strong human bonds.

That's why I am so motivated and I hope I'll meet the challenge as I want this testimony to give courage and confidence to all those suffering with MS.


Suzette Albert

I was born in 1955 in Bièvre (in the Belgian province of Namur). I am married to a free-lance physiotherapist. I have two sons, aged 24 and 26. I work as a PE teacher and as a physiotherapist. I have been highly interested in neurology since I was an intern in St Luc hospital in Brussels under Claire De Schrevel's supervision (a big thank you to her!). I have attended a number of specific training sessions in neurology (at the Neurological Center William Lennox in Ottignies, in Fraiture, in Leuven, in Brussels…). I have been working as a physiotherapist at the Centre Hospitalier de l'Ardenne (C.H.A.) in Libramont since 1981 where I mainly take care of neurological patients.

I met Olivier Bouquiaux when he joined the C.H.A. as a neurologist and I worked in his department. I became involved in the BESEP coaching at the end of 2008 when I got two MS patients. Now I am coaching four patients to help them prepare for the ascent of Mount Toubkal in April 2011.

I am very happy to join this terrific adventure but also I am especially proud to be part of it. The group I am coaching in Libramont is highly motivated, as willing as can be, full of energy and what's wonderful is that they are always, always in a great mood. It's such a pleasure to be with them twice a week and it also gives us the opportunity to talk about MS and show that it is possible not be locked away all alone with the disease and that we all have a project, a joint challenge. It is incredibly important to create some kind of dream and then realised that after all we are allowed to think about it, to dare try it out and to get there.

The whole group is great and when we're together it's as if we've known each other for ages. There is some connivance which is comforting. Having Manu as a guide reinforces the knowledge that we will be travelling safely. The fact that he is reassuring, professional, understanding, and his very involvement in the project already make a success of this project and that's before it's even started.


Fabienne Hick-Simon

I am the super highly motivated coach of the Verviers team. I was part of the Sikkim travels when Olivier had his breakthrough. We had intense shared moments: in a matter of minutes we could see ourselves in this adventure which we could tell from the outset would be unique as well as inevitable.

I am motivated by emotions, real emotions, those that you experience when you have extraordinary human contacts, when you carry out projects for which you have to fight, to share success with others who, more than I, will have to break their own boundaries and go beyond their limitations to get there. This is a salutary kind of drunkenness, one that changes people, one that makes life more beautiful, one that makes me live, my own American dream…

My hopes are to see us all at the top, happy and in better shape thanks to all those efforts we'll have put along the way, thanks to our persistence, our courage: I know you need all these ingredients to be fit, and remain fit! I dearly wish that thanks to the generosity of the people who have agreed to be the witnesses, the other will feel less lonely, less helpless, more responsive, more decided to look this f*** disease straight in the eye and be sure that a new life can begin…


Claudine Pinckaers

I am Emmanuel's long-term girlfriend, I share his passion for those sports that are friendly and social (trail, running, cycling, skiing…).

That kind of sport goes hand in hand with happiness.

I am his third and fourth hands helping him organise, that's why I'm here, in this project.


Philippe Zintzen

Hi, I'm Philippe Zintzen, 57, physiotherapist. Emmanuel, our guide, has just contacted me to join this unusual challenge. I'm so excited!!!

I will try to be a good photographer, photography is my passion. I'll also try to help Suzette, my partner, as best I can.

I still don't know whether I will get a chance to meet the participants before V-day but I am already looking forward to meeting up with them all.

Seeing your dreams come true is something I know about.

I hope I'll meet the expectations in assisting Daniele, Jacqueline, Alexandre and everyone else.


Bernard and Brigitte Pigeon

Brigitte and I both are 56 years old and we have three children (20, 30 and 32). I teach chemistry, physics, biology and IT in Marche-en-Famenne.

I have been teaching since 1975 and while I was in teacher-training, I also took a course to qualify as a photography teacher. In 1995 I started up a video reports company.

We made a number of corporate video adverts but also wedding films, and sport reporting. Through the years we have become specialised in filming dance shows and theater. Now this is a half time job for me.

As for Brigitte who has been working as a secretary for the Home Care and Help Centre (previously known as the White and Yellow Cross in Belgium) in Gedinne for more than thirty years, she started filming in 1995. She thus has several hours worth of experience behind a camera, as a camera girl.


Bruno Clément

Journalist at the RTBF (Belgian, French-speaking TV and radio) for over 10 years, I am in love with Morocco and I love the mountainside.

My participation in this project will be, I hope, to give all the participants a video recording of this extraordinary trek.

The resulting movie should particularly render the beautiful human dimension of this challenge by showing each trekker's individual story, the strong cohesion between the trekkers and the wonderful team spirit that brings the group together. A glimmer of hope for all those affected by MS.


Benjamin Daumerie

Benjamin Daumerie, 34, cameraman at the RTBF since 2002.

Always keen to go mountain-trekking, I immediately accepted to take part in this beautiful project. Filming such human experience is very unusual for me; I never get to do this in my daily routine.

This is thus quite new for me, also in terms of the material I will be using, which must be light, and which I will have to manipulate in a completely different way from what I know from using heavy cameras.

So apart from the challenge that climbing the mount will be, there is going to be the technical challenge, which, if I make it, will give the opportunity to tell a beautiful story.

I am a keen bird watcher and I hope I'll get the chance to watch one or two rare species in this unique Atlas region if there is some time for it.

We met the whole team last Sunday and they all seem highly motivated and very friendly, which reinforces my feeling that we can make a very interesting movie on every aspect.

It'll be a great pleasure to share this with you.


Emmanuel Chaumont

I've been a PE teacher for many years now and I love building projects with youngsters and adults alike.

I'm passionate about sports, the mountain and getting to know people, and I am very much involved in this wonderful challenge alongside my friend Olivier.

I love to say that everyone can make it, if they want it and if the conditions are favourable to get to the(ir) summit!

I will therefore do all I can to help achieve this!


Jean Hick

Jean, the GP on this trek.

When Olivier told us (Manu and me) about the mountain trek with the patients, we went along with his idea straight away. Manu very quickly spoke about the Toubkal and that was it!

I love walking, the mountainside, meeting people, group travels, my job, everything is there to make this a great adventure!

The difference this time though will be the different human dimension.

I therefore wish to play a useful role in it and offer an effective and reassuring kind of support.


Olivier Bouquiaux

I am the neurologist and the initiator of this project.

I have been thinking about it for the last ten years.

Special circumstances at a special time gave the initial trigger to turn this idea into a live project.

As if by magic, everything is falling into place, very reassuringly.

I am dumbstruck by everyone's commitment and generosity. We have already reached our very first summit!

Congratulations! And thank you! We'll make it to the top!