Help Maryanne beat MS

My sister Maryanne is a beautiful, caring and selfless person. Those who know her would know how very thoughtful she is, never one to burden others and will always put the needs of her family and friends before her own. Those closer to Maryanne are aware of the heartbreaking battle our family has experienced through the impacts of MS in our mother over the past 15 years, who now needs full time care in a nursing home. Maryanne, along with myself, dad and our close family, witnessed and suffered through our mother’s MS with her, as she gradually regressed to the point where she now needs high care. Unfortunately, technology was not as advanced and treatment options less readily available for mum. The best our family could do was provide as much comfort and support as possible to manage this terrifying and debilitating disease. At 34 years of age, Maryanne has just been delivered the shocking diagnosis that she too has MS, a reality beyond comprehension and words. The thought of reliving the nightmare of mum’s horrible journey through this condition with my sister, has brought back emotions I struggle to describe. Just as Maryanne and her loving, supportive partner Carlos were planning the rest of their lives together, with hope of starting a family, this unbelievable blow has brought all plans and dreams to a sudden stop and turned their world upside down. With heartbreak and disbelief, Maryanne is currently going through the motions of endless appointments with doctors, therapists and specialists. Although brave and strong, fear of what could happen next terrifies Maryanne; not knowing when there will be another relapse and how much further she might regress as a result. Each relapse taking another piece of her independence as it did with mum. With Maryanne’s diagnosis, there is hope. An opportunity to potentially halt MS from progressing further is available where it wasn’t for mum. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available in Australia. Stem Cell Transplant performed in Russia is helping people with MS in its earlier stages, offering an opportunity to take back control of their lives and future. The procedure includes stem cell removal, intensive chemo, stem cell transplant and isolation. Maryanne doesn’t want to wait in hope that she won’t end up like mum and is keen to proceed with the therapy as soon as possible, hopefully before her situation worsens. This treatment is expensive and not subsidised by the Government or covered by private health insurance. With Maryanne having recently started a new business which she is dependent on, she will have to stop work for an extended period to get the treatment and for recovery, while financial pressures will continue to mount for her and Carlos. Please help ease the financial burden for Maryanne, so she can undergo treatment and focus on getting better without the additional worry of the financial impact. With your help we can give Maryanne some hope of beating this devastating disease and give her the chance that mum didn’t have. Thank you for your support.


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Connie Duke 
Chum Creek VIC
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