The Calinda family is trying to raise $20,000 for stem cell treatment for Gemma Calinda. Gemma was diagnosed with progressive Multiple Sclerosis at age 16 in the midst of a flourishing athletic career. At the time of her diagnosis, Gemma received an invitation to tryout for the Israeli field hockey team in the Maccabiah games. She made the team as an alternate, but the onset of vision problems, due to M.S. derailed her opportunity. Over the last 22 years Gemma has received various forms of treatments. These treatments and medications have not been successful. She is currently confined to a wheelchair, and her mobility is limited. In addition, the multiple sclerosis has caused her to be legally blind. Even with all of the adversity M.S. has dealt Gemma, she remains courageous and hopeful. Gemma continues to work and has earned her Master's degree while dealing with her declining health.
Recently, the use of stem cells have been successful in the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis. To date, the use of stem cells have shown to be the most promising in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, the FDA has not approved the use of stem cells for multiple sclerosis, but several studies are currently in progress in the United States. The funds we are hoping to raise will be used for Gemma to receive treatment at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama where doctors are actively treating M.S. patients with stem cells. As the Calinda family has learned, multiple sclerosis can impact various parts of the body. If the slightest improvements can be achieved, we are headed in the right direction.