I have a small window of opportunity for life saving/enhancing medical help. I need to receive stem cell treatment in Mexico (8th January, 2018) if I am to hope for any quality of life. My name is Mary-Anne and I am 53. I have secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and my prognosis is eventual total incapacity with no intervening periods of remission of symptoms.
I have two children just about to graduate university and Yr12 respectively and until now my only focus has been on raising them with love and laughter and being a wife, mother, friend, community and extended family member where my MS was not the focus of my and others lives. Besides it was unthinkable I would leave my children to travel half way round the world for such an invasive medical treatment while they were at school.
I was diagnosed 13 years ago but was symptomatic and knew my fate many years before. I have been fully wheelchair (electric scooter) confined for six years. Before that out of home confined in a scooter eleven years. I stopped working twelve years ago. Driving eleven years ago. I now need carers for all my personal care and help around the home. My husband needs to work extra jobs to compensate for my inability to work.
Treatment options for my progressive MS are non-existent in Australia. My level of disability on the MS scale is 8/10 (ie unable to walk at all) which renders me ineligible for treatment in most overseas clinics. Mexico is the only place that is offering and successfully helping treat people over the level 7/10.
This is therefore, before a probable progression to 9/10 (ie bed bound), my one small window to be a coherent, active and more than a bed confined inert body. To be here to nurture and witness my children’s journey into adulthood – marriage, career and of course for me to see and play with my grandchildren. And a wife and companion instead of an object of care to my husband.
In my dreams we are all in my most beloved of places – running and swimming or just playing in the sand on a big warm deserted beach all together………
MS is an auto-immune illness where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own nervous system pathways. A simplistic description of the stem cell treatment process is that my own stem cells (in the blood) are stimulated and harvested, then an extreme course of chemotherapy deactivates and removes the existing faulty immune system before the newly harvested clean cells are introduced. Effectively re-booting the immune system. Effectiveness and success of the process in MS is improving globally and anecdotally in media and word of mouth there are more and more stories of loved ones having function restored. For more detailed info see http://www.hsctmexico.com/contenido/HSCT.html
The actual treatment costs (at current exchange rate) AUD$72,000. Accommodation, airfares, food, extras take to ballpark AUD$100,000.
- Louise Riethmuller
- Genny and Charlie Ryan
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