Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, October 16, 1999. Today I take my last snowmobile ride in Antarctica — from the ice-crusted dome where I have lived for eleven months, to the edge of an airfield plowed out of the drifting snow. Normally I could walk the distance in a few minutes, but I am too weak.So what's this book about?
Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero — with no way in or out before the spring. During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. What ensued was a daring rescue by the Air National Guard, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.