Theresa (Tree), our sister, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2003 after she was admitted to hospital with difficulties walking and numb feet with rising numbness in her torso and balance issues. Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable auto-immune disease of the central nervous system where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that covers the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It took six months of hard work and physiotherapy for her to walk properly again and to regain her balance. Her main focus at that time was to get better in order to be there for her children, who were toddlers and a teenager at the time.
For the past 16 years Theresa has lived with relapsing remitting MS. Relapses cause an array of symptoms including, numbness, pain, chronic fatigue, burning sensation, and balance issues. It has been treated with various medications to try to reduce relapses and to treat the symptoms, and in the past eight years pain meds to control chronic neuropathic pain. She has raised her children while still on her feet, which was her goal.
In recent times her symptoms have become more complex and she is now in the progressive stages of the disease. There is very little available medically other than symptom relief for Secondary Progressive MS here in Ireland. Having learned of and researched a treatment that is becoming known all over the world for having great results in halting progression of the disease, Theresa has applied and been accepted for this treatment in a hospital in Moscow. This centre has been doing this procedure for nearly 15 years at this stage with very impressive results. The treatment is aHSCT, information about it can be found at https://hsct-russia.com
This is “a procedure that aims to reset the faulty immune system. Haematopoietic stem cells are taken from your bone marrow or blood before your immune system is wiped out with chemotherapy. The stem cells are then reintroduced, where they grow a new immune system that will hopefully no longer attack the nervous system”. Her admission date is in January 2020.
Theresa, of course would have liked to be able to fund this herself. She is very aware of and extremely grateful for all of the support she has always had from her family and friends particularly since her diagnosis and with the raising of her children. She hopes this treatment will help her to halt progression of the disease and help her to be healthy and independent and to help others in a similar way in the future. She is receiving on-going support from her GP and fellow MS sufferers from Dublin who have already received this treatment and this is helping her to prepare for the whole procedure.
The target to be raised is €70,000, which will pay for her hospitalisation for about a month in Moscow, travel costs and hotel costs for her stay while getting tests done before treatment, and the cost of a family member to accompany her to Moscow and finally the cost of a 12 month recovery programme when she returns home. Her immediate family have pledged a considerable contribution and are organising various fundraising events which will be posted on this page in the near future.
So, we are asking for support in achieving this goal, by contributing through the gofundme page or participating in the fundraising events. We sincerely appreciate your support.