Treasured Tove: Concerts and auction in Mine 3 Saturday night to help former Svalbard resident with MS


Tove Klaven doesn’t sound any less energetic as she begins what she calls her “new life,” perhaps because so many people are springing into action in ways she no longer can.

The former Svalbard resident was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last summer and, because the optimal treatment was not available through Norway’s health insurance plan, she had to travel to Moscow in January for treatment costing about 500,000 kroner.

“From being a creative partner, energetic mom and worker full of commitment, things went into a life of constant dizziness, blurred vision, laborious bones, lazy arms, ‘burnt coffee’ tongue, and pains that come and go, to name a few,” she wrote in a Facebook post in November seeking to raise funds. “In and out of hospitals. That’s my new life, it’s tough days.”

She has raised more than 350,000 kroner, but a group of Longyearbyen residents is working to supplement that with a night of concerts and an auction in Mine 3 at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The evening was initiated by Jim Johansen, a chef and friend of Klaven’s who calls her “one of the finest people I have ever met” (and a great cook). He lauched hs own Facebook page for the event in late December seeking performers and auction items.

“MS can strike in many ways, but Tove has been so unlucky as to get a very aggressive form of the disease,” he wrote. “From being up and around the last time we met in late July until now it has unfortunately gone sharply downward.”

Music will performed Liv Mari Schei and Trond Breen, the Advent Bay Poolboys (with Johansen playing bass), Thomas Nilsen andHans Olav Stegarud, and Nordenskiöld. Also planned in a sketch by Stein Henningsen  and Sarah Gerats.

Auction items include numerous tours locally and to other settlements, photos and artwork, and a three-course dinner for up to three people cooked by Johansen.

A minimum conribution of 200 kroner is required for the evening. A free bus is scheduled to depart from Svalbardbutikken at 7:45 p.m. and the event is expected to last until midnight.