Hi my name is Angela and here is my story... In October 2012, I walked out of the dance studios never to return again. In March 2013, I was diagnosed with aggressive relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. It was all a blur with numerous relapses, hospital visits and MRI scans. In May 2013, I started monthly infusions of tysabri which I have continued ever since.
Just to tell you a bit about myself... I am a dance college director and help students achieve their dreams, goals and ambitions. I was a professional dancer for 10 years which is where I met my husband Nick who was also a dancer. We have two sons Charlie and Jamie which is why I am about to embark on this journey to halt my MS.
I was a fit, active and passionate dance teacher but my mobility has deteriorated and I now use a walker and a wheelchair. My dream which I am determined to achieve is to walk back into the dance studios and teach again.
This transplant is a case of having hope or no hope... Despite fighting to have Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) on the NHS for over a year. I now do not meet the criteria, as I have not had any new brain lesions and I am unable to walk 20 metres required. It seems a shame to me that you to have new symptoms or get worse to receive this treatment on the NHS. I was able to walk more than 20 metres until March this year. This is why I cannot wait any longer to halt the progression of this horrible disease! I think if you were in my shoes you would do the same.
Here comes the medical bit... Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an intense chemotherapy treatment for MS. It aims to stop the damage MS causes by wiping out and then regrowing your immune system, using your stem cells. After HSCT, haematopoietic stem cells help to repopulate the immune system. As our immune system is made up of lots of different types of cell, this happens in stages. Most immune cells develop within weeks or months of treatment, but others can take up to two years.
My goal To raise £10,000 by December as I am booked for HSCT overseas in January 2019. All donations to help with my transplant fund will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this.