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Jamie Tripp Utitus: Stem Cell Treatment for MS

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Years ago, 10 to be exact, I decided to run the infamous Boston Marathon in an effort to raise money for the National MS Society to honor my wife, Jamie, who’d been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) six months to the day that our son was born in 2009. Before MS, she was a runner, a good one at that, but after her diagnosis, running became increasingly impossible for her. Thankfully, with her “runner’s heart and drive” and Susan Sontag, who became her spirit animal, she trudged forward to where we are today.

As a former special education teacher, writer, children’s book author, she was always on the go, picking up the kids from school, grocery shopping, tutoring her special ed kids after school, just doing the so-called “normal” things we take for granted as able-bodied human beings. Then MS came to town and turned things upside-down for her and us as a whole.

In the last three years her mobility has greatly diminished to the point that she spends most of her time in our home. More specifically in one room. It’s the reality of her 12 years with MS that her mobility would be taken and miraculously to me, she’s been at inner peace with this. However, she has not stopped trying and searching for a “cure.”

When she realized that the infusions and self-injections stopped working, she radically changed her diet. She read everything she could about autophagy and stem cell regeneration and the benefits of a healthy diet. To a small degree, these things have given her a glimmer of hope and a limited shot of energy, but it’s just never enough to allow her to stand up and move everyday like her old, pre-MS self.

BUT, herein lays the miracle of STEM CELLS. Stem cell treatment allows for the production of new stem cells from her own blood. It’s a pretty invasive process that involves chemotherapy and 30 days of isolation, but the outcome of this treatment is that her own NEW stem cells can be administered back into her body resetting her immune system. This can put MS into remission! It can RESTORE HER WALKING. It can RESTORE HER INDEPENDENCE. But it has to be done before her MS progresses to a certain point. After that there’s no going back.

Here’s the catch, stem cell treatment has not yet been approved in the United States. After some research, we found a couple of places internationally, one in particular, which perform stem cell treatment, but they/it are super expensive and are not covered by any type of insurance. The lowest cost for treatment is $54,000 and that doesn’t even include airfare to a foreign country! WOW! But, thankfully, it does include the 30-day stay where I’d need to stay with Jamie in isolation in order for her body to accept the new stem cells and fully-recover.

This is where you come in and we are asking for your help. It took a lot of convincing on my part to get her to even agree to approach a Go Fund Me as a solution to raising what seems to be the exorbitant amount of money for the treatment, but as a family … it’s the only shot we have and it’s the most important New Year’s Resolution we will ever know!

So, if you have the means to donate in any way, it would be so INCREDIBLY APPRECIATED! More than words can even express. Our goal isn’t just about remission, it’s about returning to Jamie as much of her pre-MS independence as possible… the ability to walk up the stairs so she can leave the house… fulfilling her dreams of driving, grocery shopping… walking with me through the seasons around our neighborhood. The simple pleasures we take for granted every single day!

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and consider helping out and we wish you all the best for 2022! Let’s make the new year a great one!

With love,
The Utitus Family

Photo from article on the release of Jamie's book entitle, "Zoe Bowie Sings Despite All Bad Things"

Jamie running the San Diego "Rock-n-Roll" Marathon 2002

Jamie feature in local newspaper about her reading her book to kids at the Kenilworth Public Library

Jamie 2020


Tony Utitus
Westfield, NJ

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