A MUM who travelled to Mexico for pioneering MS treatment has described the effects as “life-changing”.
Kate Dawson raised £45,000 to undergo the stem cell transplant which she hoped would prevent her from ending up in a wheelchair.
Almost six months after undergoing the treatment, Mrs Dawson says the results have been dramatic.
“It is life-changing,” the 41-year-old said.
“I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life. I’ve been given my freedom back. I can go out and I feel like I’m back to my old self again. “The treatment is miraculous.”
The mum-of-two, from Ackworth near Wakefield, was a fitness fanatic when she was diagnosed with MS aged 35. The disease has affected her mobility and she was forced to give up her job as a teacher at Ackworth School.
The NHS was not able to offer treatment but she found out about HSCT, which has successfully treated MS in other patients.
Mrs Dawson needed to needed to raise £45,000 to go to a clinic in Mexico and after people read her story in the YEP, donations flooded in. She has since met one of the generous donors.
She underwent the gruelling procedures over a month-long stay last summer.
“When I got home, I started to do short walks in the field near our house and although my husband thought I looked like Bambi as my balance was still a little off, I felt like my legs could carry me again,” she said.
“Each day I try to do some of exercise and I have now also joined the gym where I do weights and the ski cross trainer a few times a week.”
Her specialist has even confirmed that the effects of the MS have started to reverse, with a score measuring her disability level improving. Her treatment is continuing with bi-monthly infusions of medication in Manchester for the next 12 months.
“I can now look forward to the New Year and what it will bring for me and my family,” Mrs Dawson added.
* Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) involves a patient’s stem cells being harvested from bone marrow.
Chemotherapy then destroys the current immune system and the stem cells are reintroduced, rebooting their system. In some patients, it has halted the progression of the disease and others have seen an improvement.