If we aren't that close (and even if we are) you may not know one major thing about me. For the last 9 years of my life, I've been struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. I was 21 years old when I was diagnosed, and It immediately changed how I had to live.
How It Affects Me
MS has been a huge struggle for me in so many ways. Major fatigue, regardless of how much sleep I get. As if I had just ran 10 miles.
Insomnia, which makes being tired obviously much worse. At one point I would not sleep for 3-5 days at a time. Though it has gotten better over the years with medication, I still have bad periods.
Tremors and weakness in my arms and legs, especially when I am using fine motor skills or have been doing anything physical.
Major heat exhaustion and sensitivity. In the summer heat, I basically just couldn't go outside when I was living in Texas. It is the primary reason for my recent mover to Portland, a much more forgiving climate.
Those last two symptoms have made physical labor jobs and service industry jobs next to impossible.
Bladder and bowel control problems, that I literally have accidents on myself from time to time (gross). Even having to wear a diaper to bed much of the time.
And partial blindness in my left eye. Which has been manageable for years until now. And many many other symptoms.
My condition has progressively gotten worse in the last several years, and most recently my right eye has followed suit with my left and am now majorly blind in both eyes. I can no longer really drive, or work, or do anything like I used to be able to. It consumes my thoughts and body almost endlessly, and had I not finally caved in and started therapy, I'm not sure how I'd be functioning right now.
So, I have been doing research into stem cell therapies, for a long time now, and finally got up the courage to contact a clinic to see how I could get into a treatment, and how much it would cost. I had to fill out an extensive medical history report and wait for the doctors to review it. There are certain things they look for that disqualify candidates because of complications it may cause.And just last week, I got word that I was not only approved, but I am the most ideal candidate to have the maximum positive results from the procedure!! It's the best news I have received about my MS in a long long time.
Tests and Procedure
The clinic is in San Diego with StemGenex, a stem cell research facility that has been doing studies for 10 years with stem cells for a myriad of different ailments.The first step will be getting blood tests done to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that I don't have anything inside me, such as cancer, that would cause complications with the procedure. Once they review my blood panels, 4-8 weeks out I will schedule my procedure date. I'll fly down to San Diego, have a meeting with the doctor about the specifics of the procedure. I will get a small amount of liposuction performed to extract dormant stem cells from my own body, then they will reactivate the stem cells and mix it with my own blood. The next day, I will undergo a series of injections in my brain, spinal column, bladder, extremities, all over! Then the third day, they will do an exam to make sure everything is taking properly, and I'll fly home! That simple and quick, and with only minimal side effects.
Now here is where I need your help! 5 years ago, it was about 50000 dollars to be able to treat everything I am struggling with. Luckily, the procedure has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY in just the last 2 years. The procedure, hotel and transportation to and from the hospital, and all surrounding medical checkups and meetings costs 15,900 dollars. A much more feasible amount! That will cover me and one person (my lovely girlfriend Ashley) to stay with me during the trip. Now that doesn't include airfare or food, and obviously Ashley and I would be out of work during the trip. So I am asking you wonderful people to help me raise 18000 dollars to help me fund this life changing procedure.
If I could see again? If I could be outside in the summer? If I could go to sleep without the anxiety of peeing the bed as a 30 year old? Literally, any iota of positive change would be the greatest gift I could ever receive. So give whatever you can. Share this with whomever you can. You will be helping me live again, like so few of you have ever seen. Thank you so much for reading, and for everything you have ever done for me.
- Jessica Vasami
- Laura C
- Trevor Schafer
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