HI! My name is Danette (that's me in the red sitting with my Aunt Marilee).UPDATE - POSTED ON 3/01/2011 BY MARILEE GABRIEL ON FACEBOOK -
MS Fundraiser - Anonymous donor will put up $5,000 in a matching funds
challenge. Matching funds means... We need to raise $5,000 more (to total $7105 on this website) to match it.
We have one week to do this. Actually, less than that because we have
till Thursday midnight. Anybody reading this, if you want to help us,
let me know.
About 15 years ago, my mother, Teri, passed away after a long fight with
Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I am the oldest of 3 children. I was about 9 when my mother began showing the signs of MS. Then, doctors didn't know
(or didn't explain) that MS could be an inherited disease (about 2% of cases are genetic) -- well, fast-forward, and
now I have MS. As a 37-year old adult, I know what the
disease did to my mother and what it has done and will continue to do to my own
body and how it can affect a family. I
know what it is like to be left motherless.
As a mother the welfare of my children are my priority. As a single parent, and as any other single
parent must do no matter what, I still go to work and take care of my
two young daughters. The only difference is that because I have MS, I have to deal with temporary blindness, spasms or other physical problems lasting from a
few moments to days.
A few months ago, I signed up for stem cell transplant therapy. They will be taking marrow from my hip bone and extracting the stem cells and the they will transplant them into my body through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). This procedure does not have the same
rejection issues that donor cells or embryonic stem cells have.Due to regulatory red tape, aside
from their use in cancer treatments, stem cell therapy is still considered "experimental"
in the US.
But studies both here and
internationally show that most MS patients can be helped by this
treatment. In most cases the disease can
be stopped from further progression. In
at least half of the cases there is actual improvement of the symptoms. On
the other hand, I am aware that I may fall into the percentage
of patients that do not experience improvement, and that either way, I
will probably still have to live
with the damage that the disease has already done to my body. But if all that this therapy can do is stop or slow the progression
of the disease, this means I will still be around to parent my
children into adulthood. All of the clinical studies that
I've read show some measure of statistical success with treatment using one's
own stem cells-the vital ones, not the diseased or weakened ones. So the hope we have is not blind. There are statistics supporting our "measured" hope.
Here's the bottom line: The
sooner I receive treatment, before too much irreversible damage, the
better the prognosis. All told, the expenses will total about
$20,000. We have raised approx $6000 and I have tried other options for
financial help without success and my insurance won't cover treatment.
Therefore, the possibility of me receiving this treatment depends upon
whatever outside financial assistance, contributions and donations I can
I will honestly say that I am being selfish. I want to watch my children grow up. I want to become a grandmother one day. Your help will assist me in achieving these goals. I know we all have a time. I know we all live and die. I have been through too much in this lifetime to allow this disease to control me or my family.
Thank you and God Bless.