About 5 years ago I've noticed that something was not right. My left foot had started getting numb, and during my daily 3-mile run I started to get drop foot. I decided to see a doctor about these symptoms and was referred to a neurologist. The prognosis from the neurologist told me that I should not walk 3 miles! Exercise classes that I have been taking on a regular basis became more challenging as my balance was compromised. When hiking in New Mexico with family I could not descend the hill on my own, as drop foot in my left leg had developed quickly during the hike. I was in extreme pain and with my leg not functioning properly, my son had to help me get down the hill.
After the hiking trip to New Mexico, I decided to go to a specialist at the Mayo Clinic for another opinion. This is where I received the diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS, which happens to be the rarest and most debilitating form of the disease. My doctor set me on a path of infusions that were supposed to slow down the progression of the MS. Since starting the treatments, my symptoms have become worse as I have developed numbness in the left hand and right toes, stinging in both of my legs, and my left leg is partially numb to the kneecap. When I lay down I feel "bug-like" sensations in my low back and hip, which drive me crazy!
I am asking for this donation to be applied to the medical costs of HSCT (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation). This is an established chemotherapy medical treatment demonstrated to be effective in halting the progression of MS. I have been accepted into this intensive treatment program with Dr. Ruiz Arguelles, a 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The treatment will take place in Pueblo, Mexico at the Clinic Ruiz. My treatment is scheduled for January 2019. I have researched treatment options between the United States and other countries, and have found that in the US, HSCT is not covered by insurance and the cost is 150,000 compared to 54,500 in Mexico.
Research shows that for HSCT to be effective I need to have this treatment as soon as possible. The less debilitating symptoms I have before treatment is established, will help deliver positive results.
I want my life back. I want to walk that 3 miles, and more, that the doctor told me not to. I can't walk a mile right now! I want to be able to attend exercise classes again to be able to promote better health. I am self-employed and I need to be physically able to provide for my family. Having a physicalIy demanding job I believe has helped me stay stronger for a longer period of time. I want to be able to enjoy the active lifestyle I had with my family before this disease interrupted my life.
Please help me attain this goal by donating anything possible at this time. I thank you all for your donations and for taking the time to read my story.
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