Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let's Fund Raise for Team Bettie!


On June 3rd, 2012, Carly and I will be running on the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon. This year we are running to raise money for the National MS Society. As some of you know, my Aunt Bettie (Mom's sister) was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago. Bettie lives in Colorado and loves to be outdoors. She is an avid biker, skier and traveler. Since her diagnosis, some of those activities have become more challenging but she continues to fight the disease with her positive attitude and amazing sense of humor.

After doing what she could to improve her quality of life including regular visits to her neurologist, changing her diet, continuing to exercise, wearing an electrical stimulant device on her legs and taking a number of pricey medications, she decided to take her battle overseas for a treatment not available in the US (and not covered by insurance) -- stem cell replacement. In March 2010 she travelled to Tel Aviv, Israel to have her stem cells harvested. My Mom (Bettie's sister) went with her on the trip and they were later joined by their other sister (Ela) who lives in Tel Aviv. The procedure was done by Shimon Slavin who is a well known stem cell specialist. Then, in July 2010 she travelled to Athens, Greece with her husband Gary to have the stem cells injected into the spine. Unlike the procedure in Israel, this one was a bit more invasive requiring Bettie to be anesthetized and later hospitalized for a day of recovery.

Bettie came back to the US and after a short time she started to see some improvements. She had more energy, less chronic pain and improved mobility. Tasks that were difficult to do before the treatment like taking a hot shower or cooking dinner are now doable with little discomfort. If she had not done this treatment, she would likely be in a wheel chair full time and would have had to quit her job. There is also the possibility of a second stem cell treatment on the horizon.

Thank you for reading this. Please donate if you can. Every little bit helps. Even though the stem cell treatment is not available here in the US, hopefully one day it will be and it's organizations like the National MS Society that will help make that happen.

- Clayton and Carly

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