Multiple Sclerosis Stole My Mobility. Now I am $129,000 Away from Regaining It.

I launched the “A New Day for Ice” campaign to raise the funds needed to undergo stem cell transplantation and rigorous physical therapy to fight the worst effects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and regain my mobility.

In 1993, I was diagnosed with MS, a neurological disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. Your own immune system turns against you and begins attacking the protective myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of the body. This results in nerve fibers deteriorating and becoming damaged.

When I was diagnosed, it was a busy time in my life as a wife and a mother of a teenager and a newly walking 11-month old. This was about the time when the MS community was just beginning to feel encouraged with the release of the first MS drug that became available. The problem was that it was only available through a lottery system. I was hopeful while I waited for my number to finally come up after waiting many months. Unfortunately, after using it–and later, three other disease modifying drugs–for a while, the horrible side effects proved to be too much. I could not force myself to continue using them as each drug made living with the disease worse.

For the last 10 years, I have been homebound and confined to a wheelchair. My husband has been my caregiver since then, and it has not been easy since he works full-time too. I have faith and believe I will walk again. With Hematopioetic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and a rigorous physical therapy program, I believe I will regain my ability to walk.

Each person diagnosed with MS is different. Some people live their lives with minor symptoms or even no symptoms. For others, MS can strike so violently that mobility is compromised soon after diagnosis. I have been hospitalized at least 15 times in these 24 years. High doses of steroids used to control symptoms have caused other health problems too.

I am desperately seeking the chance to live a normal and full life again. The “A New Day for Ice” fundraiser was launched so that I can raise the approximately $130,000 needed for HSCT, the stem cell procedure that can reverse many of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, and much-needed extensive rehab and physical therapy to help me strengthen my upper body and my legs to allow me to walk again.

HSCT is the transplantation of stem cells that would be taken from my own bone marrow. Although the procedure has not yet been approved by the FDA for Multiple Sclerosis in the U.S., the evidence already exists that it is helpful to alleviate symptoms of this terrible disease. It has proven beneficial to many who live with Multiple Sclerosis.

It may be another 10 years or more before the FDA approval process catches up with the science. I will need to travel abroad to take advantage of this procedure; my fight against this consuming disease is unfortunately being compromised in the country of my birth.

I have and will continue using my long-term experience of living with MS as a platform, sharing my story to inspire and help others seek better outcomes for their lives.

Will you help me get to my goal of $130,000 with your donation? The success of this fundraiser will help me live a more fulfilled life that MS has taken away. It is my desire to inspire others to continue fighting. My need grows greater by the day, and your contribution will help me reach the amount necessary to bring about these major life improvements. Will you help me get there? You can learn more about my story, share my story, and donate here.

Thank you for taking time to read my story. Your generous donation will help give me the opportunity to improve my life as I continue fighting MS. GOD BLESS YOU!

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