Chelsey was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 6 years ago. We've watched her fight this illness with grace and humor. While she uses many alternative therapies in the hopes of avoiding the pharmaceuticals, which have frightening and uncomfortable side effects that often outweigh the pain of the disease which inspired her to seek out a new approach to the combatting the disease - HOOKWORMS!
Chelsey found out about hookworm to treat auto immune diseases while listening to the Radiolab podcast on parasites (also a This American Life episode). After further research she's learned that hook worms are a promising alternative medical treatment for her illness.
The theory behind this phenomenon goes like this: humans and hookworms evolved together in a symbiotic relationship (much like "good" bacteria living in the intestines). Basically it’s thought that hookworms change how the immune system functions to make it less likely to kill them, and in doing so they calm down an overactive immune system that’s attacking itself. This idea, which goes along with what’s known as the “Hygiene Hypothesis ,” comes in part from the fact that less industrialized countries that have not eradicated these types of organisms have much lower rates of autoimmune diseases.
There have been several clinical trials involving hookworms and autoimmune diseases, and the evidence is promising enough that hookworms are classified as an ‘investigative drug’ by the FDA; however, as such, they are not yet available as a medical treatment in the United States, and the only legal way of obtaining such a treatment is to visit a clinic outside of the U.S.
LET'S HELP CHELSEY
Treatment from hookworms requires obtainining a low dose of hookworms every few months for two years. As you can imagine, the treatment is not covered by health insurance. The sooner Chelsey can receive this treatment the sooner her body can continue to heal from this and past MS flares.
She is on the mend from a current flare. She attributes a large part of this to frequent acupuncture and other treatments that her health insurance does not cover. Friends and family know the weight Chelsey puts to alternative and holistic approaches to healing; she is a trained herbalist, and many of us in her community turn to her when we're in times of illness and dis-ease.
Chelsey's enthusiasm for the potential of hookworms to treat her illness has been an inspiration. As friends, we want to support her in any way we can. A great way to support is to help her pay for the hookworms and costs associated with the aquisition of such an unsual treatment. Maybe just maybe we can help take the edge off for Chelsey and relieve some of the financial stress!!
BE PART OF THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE!
We're excited to support her and thank you for joining us. Expect frequent updates as Chelsey progresses through the treatments.
Feel free to contact us with any questions.
- Diane Wong-Kone
- Ron Kaminkow
- Lori Leonard
Organizer and beneficiary
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