I walked on the glorious Gold Coast beach every day, worked two jobs and loved socialising with friends - be it shopping, dancing or exercising!
My MS diagnosis meant I was unable to do a lot of the above and I really struggled with "What can I offer friendships? My partner? My family?"
I'm a positive person and I pretty much 'get on with things' but for a while there, I felt I was no longer fun, interesting or of much value because I couldn't 'do' anything anymore!
Don't worry though...I didn't feel like that for long...I soon came to realise that my friendships were far stronger than I could have ever imagined, my family support was humbling and my partner (now husband) refused to accept this MS diagnosis as a life sentence and happily stayed on for the ride.
Now 12 years on, Andy and I have married, moved back to Mount Gambier, South Australia to be with family, have a beautiful 8 year old daughter, Piper, and I've fallen into a job I truly love.
But my MS continues to slowly progress. My main symptom is weakness in my leg and 'drop foot'. I can barely manage the groceries and my personal shopping days are long gone (thank heavens for internet shopping)!
Earlier this year I saw a story on 60 Minutes relating to HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant) treatment. I cannot do the treatment in Australia as I do not meet the criteria for the small trial in Sydney, however I have been fortunate enough to be accepted for this treatment in Russia in August 2015. Eeek!! :)
The procedure involves 'harvesting' stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow blood, then destorying the patient's immune system through chemotherpahy before transplanting the healthy stem cells back into the body to rebuild a 'clean' immune system. In effect, the body's immune system is wiped through the Chemotherapy, which means no more MS!
Whilst this treatment does not claim to reverse any established symptoms, it does claim to HALT the disease with no further deterioration - that's good enough for me!
As you can imagine, there is a hefty price tag for such a procedures along with flights to Moscow and follow up treatment with a physio, neurologist and haematologist.
If you are able to support me with my Mission to Moscow to mitigate MS I would be forever grateful! I am looking forward to an active life with my beloved daughter and hubby.
Please donate, share, pray, support!
With thanks, Mary (Andy and Piper)
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