Lynn Panzica's MS fight

Sharing my MS story has always been very difficult . With many of you, I haven't mentioned MS at all up until now, unless you're part of my daily life, and see me regularly. I would've preferred to never mention it. I was able to conceal it for many years because you can't see the disease. It is very difficult to share my story so openly, but I want to do it. I believe it is the right thing to do under these circumstances. I believe now there is hope !! I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed at age 37. I am now 50. The first 10 years I had very few symptoms, or I should say, symptoms I could deal with. Recently, (within the past 3 years ), my symptoms have progressively gotten worse. MS usually affects one side of the body, which would be my left side. I have foot drop, balance issues, trouble walking and fatigue. I am now using a cane. I find it difficult to imagine where I will be in 5, 10 or 20 years. I don't want to watch my life slowly deteriorate. I have many blessings in my life, a husband who will do anything for me, and two wonderful boys. I have an amazing family and wonderful friends! My life has become much smaller due to MS. It's next to impossible to live fully while fatigue lives in every cell of your body. I try to put my best foot forward and have a positive attitude. I think I do a pretty good job of this, but underneath, I'm struggling and feel a bit hopeless and sad.  I recently learned of HSCT( Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation ) through Facebook. There are many stories where people like me, with MS, are experiencing health benefits. I am so optimistic about what I have read. They have been doing HSCT for MS in other countries for years. The Procedure: HSCT is a common treatment for hematology( cancers of the blood ). It has also been successful in MS cases. The procedure is intense. It takes over a month, where my own stem cells will be harvested from my bone marrow or blood( embryonic cells are not used ). Chemotherapy, followed by a period of isolation. The procedure wipes out the memory of MS in my body, and gives my immune system a "fresh start". This procedure is not FDA approved in the U.S., but has been done for more than 10 years in clinical trials at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, with a 90% success rate.The FDA is currently conducting clinical trials in the U.S. for relapsing-remitting versions of MS, but not for primary , progressive MS. However, the Primary-Progressive MS treatment, has been approved in countries like Canada, Mexico, Russia and Israel to name a few. Price and Benefits of Hope: The HSCT procedure is preformed in Puebla and Monterrey Mexico for $54,500 , which is NOT COVERED by any insurance. In many articles and medical journals I have read, the number one thing HSCT will do for anyone with MS, is to STOP THE PROGRESSION!! ( makes me wish I knew about this 10 years ago). Many people within a 2 year period after HSCT, will recover some of their negative effects, like balance, fatigue or walking. However, even if I didn't regain anything I've lost, halting any other progression of my disability would make a huge difference in my life!!! Recovering some of what I have lost would be a miracle! I keep researching, looking at other peoples' blogs , and continue to get more hopeful and excited! I need to do this, and experience the wonderful things everyone else is feeling! I want a cure, by this I mean halting any further progression, and it looks like HSCT is just that! $54,500 can be a start ( do I dare say ) to a new life!!! This page is to possibly help us raise the amount so I can have the procedure in Monterrey, Mexico. There aren't enough words in the universe for the gratitude I'll feel for anything you can do! If you cannot donate, I understand, that is perfectly fine, and hope you can at least SHARE this story for us!I hope after my HSCT treatment, I am able to spread the word, through this journey,  and give hope  for everyone suffering from this monster disease. 60 Minutes Australia Breakthrough: FDA HSCT Approval: HSCT info: HSCT Facilities: Clinica Ruiz: Dr. Guillermo Ruiz
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Chuck Panzica 
Buffalo, NY
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