+48 votes
Heidi's Hope to Fight MS and Win
"I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) almost 15 years ago.
For more than 12 years, I managed fairly well. I say fairly well, but during this time I lost my vision for a few weeks and had to have a steroid injection under my eyelid (yes, really). I had numbness and nerve pain in various parts of my body, serious balance issues, and at one point, my right arm stopped working.

My MS would come and go. I would get “breaks” from attacks and would have a chance to heal and recover some of the disability the attacks caused (like regaining my vision and use of my right arm).
The medical profession has yet to determine what exactly causes MS.
It is progressive – meaning it will only get worse.

Mine has.

Over the last 3 years, my MS has continued to progress. I am having fewer and fewer “breaks” and more continuous attacks and symptoms. I could list a long list of my symptoms, but here are just a few I have right now (it’s hard to put some of these in writing):
• Difficulty walking due to muscle tightness/spasms around my hips,
• Muscle spasms and nerve pain in my left leg and foot (makes my muscles like rocks),
• Very poor balance (I stumble into walls fairly often),
• Serious bladder control issues (beyond the regular I’m getting to be a woman of a certain age issues), and
• Bowel issues (I saved the best for last).

I’ve tried countless drugs, often with horrendous side effects, but they did not work and even then, those drugs can only slow progression.
No current drug stops MS.

BUT - I now have a chance to halt the progression of my MS through a treatment called HSCT.

I have HOPE.

HSCT or Hematopioetic Stem Cell Transplant, is the only existing scientifically proven treatment, currently available that completely halts disease progression of Multiple Sclerosis.

The transplant uses my own stem cells, which are collected and stored, to rebuild my immune system. This is done after my existing immune system is destroyed through high doses of aggressive chemotherapy.

It will not be easy, but it will be worth it.

I have been accepted for treatment on June 19th – just 4 months. I have to have payment for the treatment 2 months prior to that date – by April 19th.

I need to raise $70,000.

The treatment alone costs $55,000 and is not covered by my insurance. I also need to travel to the clinic and stay for a month – along with a caregiver for the entire time.

Recovery will take at least a year and I will not be able to work. I will not be able to even go out for several months post treatment (my immune system won’t be strong enough), except for medical appointments and even then I have to wear a heavy duty mask.
So the additional funds will cover travel and living expenses during treatment for both me and a caregiver, post-HSCT doctor visits, medicines, and medical supplies (many that will not be covered by insurance), and recovery expenses.

Also - the treatment is in Mexico. Why go to Mexico?

After months of trying, I was rejected by the only treatment center in the USA. I have had MS for “too long” and my MS is “too progressive”. Well, ok - I wish too I would not have had MS for so long.

I will be going to Clinica Ruiz. This facility is currently the top HSCT treatment facility in the world. Dr. Guillermo José Ruiz-Argüelles has been treating MS patients through stem cell transplants for many years at Clinica Ruiz in Puebla, Mexico, about 80 miles southeast of Mexico City. He is a distinguished alumnus of the Mayo Clinic, a highly regarded U.S. medical institution. My neurologist and family doctor are both fully onboard with HSCT (which is a blessing).

The sooner I get treatment the better.

Please help me raise these funds quickly, so I can go for treatment in June.

I finally have hope to stop this terrible disease."

Credits: Heidi's Hope to Fight MS and Win
1,778 views Mar 13, 2017

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boddabing 350 points
Heidi is one of my dearest childhood friends, and we have had the wonderful opportunity to catch up recently about memories, life, her MS journey...both serious and lighthearted conversations! She deals with a variety of symptoms on a daily basis that many of us will never know the extent of because we don’t live it. She recently took a leap of faith…and HOPE…by seeking out, and being accepted for this amazing HSCT treatment that, if all goes as expected, will halt her MS. In June, she will head to Mexico for this life-altering treatment to kick MS to the curb.

I admire Heidi for not only the exceptional person she is, but the courage it has taken her to face her disease head-on and reach out for help. Her journey is so very real and raw, and she is not afraid to share the realities of this disease. She faces life with a sense of purpose and her ever-present sense of humor, and as long as I have known her, she has always been the first one to help others. If you are able to help Heidi achieve her goal for the treatment, every little bit helps. And even if you are not able to make a monetary donation, stop by her page to learn more about MS and send her an encouraging message…because help comes in all forms!!
Thank you, everyone!

As long as I’ve known Heidi, she’s always been the first one to help others, so she has had to be vulnerable it has taken her tons of courage to really put herself out there and ask for help.  I
+10 votes
Mar 13, 2017