Hello Friends, new old & otherwise :)
As many of you know, by best friend Nikki was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 20 years ago. She has quietly and vigilantly fought a brave fight to maintain a livable life with “the invisible disease”, especially determined not to burden others with her illness. But over the last few years, Nikki's MS has progressed quickly. For friends of Nikki, you likely haven't seen much of her out in public lately.
Now SPMS ( secondary progressive multiple sclerosis), Nikki has difficulty with simple tasks we all take for granted. Walking alone can be impossible for any more than 30 to 40 feet. Walking to the bathroom feels like running a marathon in a pool of molasses! To top that off, Nikki falls a lot and is constantly bruised and cut.
If you have had the fortune of knowing Nikki at any point in your life you know the energy and spunk in this woman's soul. You have felt first hand her fighting spirit. She is feisty and is ready to kick anything in the ass - including MS. She has always had a gung-ho attitude and takes on new challenges willingly, with her intelligence and wit. For me, seeing this spirit fade has got to be the most heart-gutting of all.
Many of you know that Nikki has devoted her studies and career to helping others. If you caught Nikki on MCTV last year you saw that she has become a Reiki Master and started a practice focused on treating animals. After spending a lifetime around her own horses and dogs, this is a perfect calling for her. Unfortunately, Nikki has trouble working more than 4 to 5 hours a week. She finds it very difficult to work around horses especially because of safety issues with balance and stumbling. On top of those issues, these past few years, Nikki is just always tired.
Nikki has been on and off of government approved meds for over 8 years. These meds, I am told, come with horrible side effects and severe damage to the liver. I have seen Nikki at her worse following one of these treatments. So why take them? Unfortunately, they are the only treatments that come with government funding. Nikki finally said goodbye to these meds and started searching for alternatives.
This is when her research led her to LDN (low dose naltrexone) as a therapy. She read so many success stories of people gaining their life back. Being able to walk, work and play with their kids again. The shitty part? Doctors won't prescribe because it is not an " FDA-approved treatment for MS". It is in fact quite inexpensive compared to the current FDA approved meds, immunosuppressives run about 64000$ per year and taxpayers foot the bill!
You can read more about LDN here: http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/
Nikki found a doctor in Toronto that can offer her LDN treatment. She decided to save up for the initial round of meds and make the trek to Toronto. After only one month on LDN something INCREDIBLE is happening! My best friend is in reversal! Her legs are getting stronger. Her balance is way better. She is not as fatigued and her energy levels are way up. She has started to work a few hours again.
I have tears of joy in my eyes typing this. It has been so difficult seeing my beautiful friend deteriorate like this over the years. Could this be the treatment we have been praying for? God, I hope so.
Here's the kicker - without the drugs, Nikki can't work. And without work, Nikki can't afford the drugs. We need your help.
The drugs are $400 a month and are not eligible under Nikki or Terry's benefits plans. The trips to Toronto are costly and exhausting. In addition, Nikki requires a full circle of treatment to function and to track side effects. Physio, etc is 200 dollars a month. Doc appts are 150 every 6 weeks, blood and liver tests aren't covered and are 100 dollars every 8 weeks.
I've added it all up and it will cost Nikki roughly 7000 dollars for one year of treatment. Possibly more but 7000 dollars should cover all of the necessary costs, allowing her to invest in other important aspects of a productive lifestyle like nutrition, her Reiki practice, and her beloved horses. After a year of treatment, we hope Nikki's kicked MS to the point where her practice is thriving and she can fund her own treatment.
Please donate what you can. We will continue to lobby the government to fund these drugs as a viable treatment for MS. Stop the big pharma from getting in the way of my friend, and many of yours, living the life they deserve. One more success story may be all we need.
Please feel free to share this with friends of yours or theirs you think may be interested in helping, or hearing more about MS, autoimmune diseases, and LDN. Nikki and the people I've met have become open books about their experiences, and their appreciation and gratitude for life, the people in it, and the lessons they are gathering along the way is never ending.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
- Sean Hadlow
- Jessie Marchant
- Angela Zotos
- David Maginnis
- Helen Maginnis
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