Disney recently released their new film ‘Togo’ based on the 1925 Nome Serum Run. Nome Serum Run was one of the greatest mushing tales of them all, so let’s remember what it was all about.
Even when you look at the basic facts of the Nome Serum Run, you will understand why the movie on this topic was always in the making. The story involves gale force winds, sick children, cracking ice, whiteout conditions, and men and dogs pushed beyond their limits.
The story began in the middle of January 1925 when several children contracted a contagious bacterial infection named diphtheria targeting the respiratory system.
Diphtheria can choke its victims to death as it causes the infected tissue to expand and block airways.
Unfortunately, the only doctor in Nome had run out of the serum that was used to treat the fatal disease. A resupply order made earlier had gone unfulfilled because of the arrival of winter and a nasty approaching storm. There was only one way of transportation left, and that was dog sled.
Over five and a half days, 150 dogs and 20 drivers traveled 700 miles in a race against time to get the serum to Nome.
Leonhard Seppala, who was already regarded as a dog racing legend, left Nome to retrieve the serum from Nenana. Leonhard’s Husky, Togo, named after a Japanese Admiral was in the typical lead position as the journey started.
When Leonhard left Nome, his intention was to do the whole traveling on his own, but a relay of drivers was arranged. Leonhard would still be covering the most extended, tricky, and dangerous leg.
And finally, early on the morning of February 2, musher Gunnar Kassen reached Nome with the necessary serum, which resulted in a successful halt to a potential epidemic that could have devastated the Seward Peninsula.
Here is a video about the movie based on the story of Togo.
Source: Walt Disney Studios via Youtube