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1. About me

I am 17, about to write my final exams for the second to last year of high school, with plans of going to university and dreams of becoming a success…

I am 24, unable to work a full day, unable to walk in a straight line, my body unable to do what my spirit wants. In a word, I feel hopeless…

I am 25, filled with hope for a brighter future; hope that I will reach my fullest potential and the knowledge that this is not the end!

So what happened between 17 and 24, what happened between 24 and 25?

The night before I had to write my last exam of my second to last year of high school I collapsed. I got up and collapsed again, this time with convulsions and tremors. My parents rushed me to hospital where I was prodded and poked, x-rayed and scanned. That finally gave an answer; the MRI scan revealed I had multiple lesions on my brain. Might this be MS (Multiple Sclerosis)? The doctors didn’t think so as I am young and male. So they diagnosed me with epilepsy and multiple lesions on my brain, gave me cortisone and sent me home. I was fine.

 

A year passed and again I was in hospital, again feinting and again getting cortisone. As the years passed I got weaker, the hospital visits got more frequent and my dreams and hopes… well they slowly grew fewer. I got tired easily, I was off balance, I occasionally lost bowel and bladder control and my eyesight got worse. So I went to a new doctor, again I was treated with cortisone, but this time for MS.

Fast forward 3 years and 6 cortisone treatments and the symptoms kept getting worse. I was no longer able to drive as my legs cramped and my eyes would no longer focus, I couldn’t work more than a couple of hours without needing to take a nap, walking tired me out quickly so I got my first wheelchair, I could no longer use my left hand to hold a fork due to the shakes and I had to move back in with my parents, away from my friends. I was crushed, my hopes and dreams shattered.

A couple of weeks before my 25th birthday my mother told me about experimental  HSCT to treat MS. At first I was skeptical, as most people suffering from MS would be. But as I researched and spoke to people who have had it done, read their stories and saw what an effect it had, I started asking myself “Could this be it? The cure that I have been hoping and praying for”?

Well, I am about to find out!

HSCT stands for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant and what that is, is basically a procedure done in 3 steps:

  1. Harvesting my own stem cells.
  2. Destroying my immune system with chemotherapy
  3. Reinfusing my stem cells.

The idea behind this is that as MS is a auto immune disease, destroying the immune system would destroy the MS and my new immune system will be as clean as the day I was born.

5 comments on “1. About me

  1. i am all prayers for u my friend for what u r abt to face ,is only a brave mans job.u r my hero cuz i feel an initiative like this is not everybody’s dare .wish u the very….very best of success and may the pain ease and all u wish for comes .may ure pain be another step ahead towards success .may it all be over for the best outcome.

  2. I am stunned. I pray that a cure will be find for MS. You are so youngh. I feel like giving u a hug through this notepad.

  3. Thinking of you fondly, Spades, as you go through all this. Take care young man. Hope you recover soon and gain back what you’d lost.

  4. I have just been given the chance to go to Cape Town and have HSCT for my MS under Prof Novitsky. I would love to hear from you and talk about how you are now – several years on. PLEASE reply to me so that we can connect.
    Thanks – I look forward to hearing from you.
    Nikki (New Zealand)

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