For new visitors to this page I would like to extend my unending gratitude for being a support system that became the foundation of my ability to explore a stem cell transplant (ASCT) and you believed in me. A little over one year ago my family and I knew that the progression of my nerve damage and muscle atrophy would continue slowly for the rest of my days. We are left only to imagine what the next symptom will be. I've always been a hard worker and in ever company I was employed by I was promoted before my first year with the company. I am an extrovert and quite verbose at times, just ask my wife, I taught myself to play guitar and I have been told I have a nice voice, sorry to toot my own horn. I'm starting to see positive changes in my hand but my legs both need braces 24/7 to ensure I can ambulated safely. I'm a stubborn man with a never give up attitude and I have been up and down many times. I wear a mask made of a smile when I have painful days and have no choice but to do my best and realize how precious life is. I am one of four children and the oldest son, however, my two younger brothers passed away at separate times within eight months, so now it's only myself send my sister. I've made mistakes in life but I can honestly say that I've been fortunate to have so many friends that to help me get back on track. To all of you in Harisburg, Tampa, Charleston, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Colorado, my home state New Jersey, Buffalo, my appreciation is immeasurable. I had my stem cell transplant (May 9th 2013) and now almost eight months later I'm starting to see that by challenging myself and getting up after each fall I'm positive I will recovery completely. My wife and daughter see the intimate sides of this otherwise invisible disease. I'm proud to be a continuing asset to this five year immune system study and cannot wait to pay it forward. My ego has been tested time and time again when asking for donations but my desire to work again depends on being humbled by such kindness. There is not a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for each donation that was made. My daughter, without a second thought, at the age of seven no less, volunteered to have her hair cut for a Locks of Love. As my recovery moves forward my ability to do more for my wife and daughter inspire me to try harder. Soon I will be taking off my cumbersome ankle braces and wearing a normal shoe a go for a run. Soon I will regain my dexterity and once again play guitar and sing for my own enjoyment. Soon this will be a memory of how I got a second chance to live a purpose driven life. I am thankful and amazed by the response this year and look forward to 2014. Carpe Diem, my high school motto never seemed more appropriate. I'm 40 years young and live life with rye opened wide. I'm dreaming big and hope to share my success story. I will post again very soon.
In previous messages to you I've explained my recent stem cell transplant and it's affects on our family. Our financial difficulties are a direct result of being on disability (SSDI) for years while treating my nerve disorder. I became my own medical advocate and in May 2013 I had a stem cell transplant. This really is the tip of the iceberg. We are and have been under an enormous amount of stress for a very long time. I'm writing in for my wife, daughter and mother-in-law not for myself. So many donated to our online fund since we started it a year ago, now that the transplant is complete I will have check ups in Chicago every six months and the donations are my only chance to travel back and forth to Chicago. My recovery can be lengthy but knowing that I'm part of a research study for MS sufferers fills me with pride. My condition, known as CIDP, has made our life difficult in almost every way. Our yard is need of care that I cannot do currently, all of our kitchen appliances need repair/replacement. we are overwhelmed by so much and I haven't told half the story. During the last year inspirational stories from around the world struck a chord in me. In an effort to begin physical therapy I started volunteering at my daughters elementary school library on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I'm trying to hold things together for my family but I'm not doing well. A few months ago I sold my vehicle to pay bills. My wife and I can't give up now and really need your help. Every donation, no matter the amount, represents hope and gives me the ability to reduce my stress and concentrate on my physical therapy and speed up my recovery. Please share my posts and remember that donations are tax deductible and your generosity are changing my life and my future. Thank you all so much.