Henrique’s Battle with Ataxia

My friend Henrique is a Portuguese Canadian from Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal and is suffering from a disease called Machado–Joseph disease (MJD), also known as spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, this is a rare condition and its inherited which causes progressive cerebellar ataxia, and it results in lack of muscle control and coordination of the upper and lower extremities.

The symptoms are caused by a genetic mutation which causes degeneration of cells in the hindbrain. Some of the symptoms are clumsiness, rigidity, lack of balance and double vision, at times people suffering MJD are commonly mistaken for drunkenness or Parkinson's disease.

Machado–Joseph disease is a type of spinocerebellar ataxia and is the most common cause of autosomal-dominant ataxia, MJD causes ophthalmoplegia and mixed sensory and cerebellar ataxia.

Symptoms of MJD are spasticity, difficulty with speech and swallowing, weakness in arms and legs, clumsiness, frequent urination and involuntary eye movements. Symptoms can begin in early adolescence and gets worse over time.

Eventually, MJD leads to paralysis; however, intellectual functions usually remain the same, basically the person with MJD is trapped with in the body in every way possible.

my friend Henrique has been battling MJD  for about 6 years and he has been getting progressively worse.

He has had multiple falls resulting in braking his left clavicle (collarbone) and some of his ribs, this disease also renders the person incapable of cooking and taking care of themselves which cause problems such as losing weight due to not being able to cook and this in turn creates malnutrition.

Most people suffering this disease either die from complications from a fall or pneumonia. 

Up up to now there has been no known treatment for ataxia but there has been stemcell research and treatments happening with great prognosis.

With any experimental treatment there comes a cost which is not covered by any type of insurance, this treatment is available for just about $15,000.00 for the first 10 patients starting early March 2018 and jumping up to $48,000.00 beyond the 10 patient , which is  why I have started this go fund me page.

After reading this message Please take a minute and look at this 47 year old man’s pictures and see if you can help in anyway possible, helping doesn’t always mean you need to donate, you can also help by spreading this page with in your social media and Bring awareness to this campaign.

Henrique thanks you for your time, help and prayers.
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Vahe Ga
Vancouver, BC

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