I am 37-year-old loving mother of two who lives in Stroudsberg, PA. In 1998, I was diagnosed with MS. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the nervous system and often leads to paralysis and loss of vision. Over the years, my battle has included numerous conventional medications to try and halt the development of my disease. Unfortunately, the disease is progressing and I am having a difficult time walking. After consulting with my physician and researching treatments for MS, I learned of a promising stem cell therapy transplant. I feel that this treatment is my best hope for a return to good health, but unfortunately it is very expensive as my health insurance does not cover the cost of treatment or related expenses.
I love being outdoors fishing and hunting. I love to read, listen to music and watch my daughter dance and my son swim. I also have two adorable Weimer Reiner’s that give me comfort and joy. I just want to get back to living active a normal life. I don’t view this transplant as a cure but a safe positive treatment toward restoring some of my functionality. I desperately need your help to afford stem cell therapy, and deserves the chance to halt her MS and a chance at a better life!
August 4, 2016
The stemcell therapy was a success so far!! I have relief from pain and pins& needles!!! Thanks again everyone!
July 3, 2016
Finally finished my month long course of steroids.
I have 21 days of cleaning eatting and get back in the gym this week!!
June 17, 2016
Keeping you in my prayers....
May 26, 2016
Michelle, Brett Please let me know if there is any way I can help.
May 26, 2016
If there is more that I can do then just donate money, please let me know. In the meantime, I'm sorry my donation isn't more then it is.
May 25, 2016
Anyone that knows me knows I am not good at asking for help. In fact, I suck at it. But sometimes you must do things that are hard, that hurt or that make you feel small and unsuccessful. My wife, Michelle, has MS. Right now, she is experiencing a rather nasty “flare” up where she either can only walk with two canes or not at all. Sometimes she has to crawl up the steps. Sometimes the only way off the floor is if I pick her up. It is easier to dress our 3 year old during a tantrum than it is for her to put on her socks. We must set phone reminders for medication and to eat, because she will just forget to do either. I won’t add the rest of the indignities she suffers as a result of this miserable disease; suffice to say there are many. She’s a week into a course of steroids that would often reverse the flare up, but this time it is providing little relief. (At least so far.) We have long been at war with insurance for treatments and to cover things that would seem “common sense”, but, instead require appeals and fights and payments to providers in the meantime. This year, we will be seeing Michelle begin to receive Medicare benefits, but, with the necessary supplemental policy, our front end expenses will INCREASE from the current premiums being paid. Hopefully, the treatment expenses will decrease. What will not be covered by this or any insurance—at least until it is classified differently—is stem cell therapy. Michelle is a candidate for stem cell replacement, using her own stem cells. This avoids the possibility of rejection issues. The cost of the therapy alone, without travel, without me being able to go for support or assistance is, bluntly, frightful. When those other things are added, it becomes downright terrifying. While I am successful, this burden is daunting. And it comes with a tight deadline because if not done during this summer, a more traditional treatment will have to be begun and that treatment, though likely covered by insurance, will preclude her from stem cell therapy. So, the conjunction of the cost and the timeframe requires us to ask for help. We have money; and we can get some more quickly. But we are asking for assistance that will stretch the funds we do have and those we can obtain quickly to have enough to do this thing in time. Stem cell treatment is not likely to “reverse” anything from the MS; but it may provide relief from the flare and return Michelle to where she was just before it hit. I’m not nearly as strong as my wife. She does hard stuff everyday. She does stuff that hurts—honestly, for her, waking up hurts. She asks for help with activities the rest of us take for granted—like getting a drink from the kitchen. I hate asking for help, as it feels like I have let her down; that I am not “enough” and that my successes have been weighed and are left wanting. But I am asking. Because I love her. Because our kids love her. Because she is important to many people. Please donate if you can. Every penny brings us closer to being able to schedule the appointment and helps her hope, and mine, to live.
Brett J. Riegel