Most people would describe Kelly Gaiser as a fun-loving, active and “outdoorsy” young woman, with endless amounts of energy. She rode horses her whole life, went hiking, swimming, biking and loved to stay active. Kelly worked all day, and sang in a local band during her weekends. Volunteering with her licensed therapy dog at a local nursing home was her passion, and always put others first. But that was the Kelly back then. The Kelly we know now, has drastically changed!
Kelly always felt deep in her heart that “something wasn’t right”. She would wake up with fatigue and pain, even after a good night’s rest. Seven years ago, Kelly suddenly lost feeling on the right side of her body while at her gym. “I must have pulled something”, she thought. A few weeks later she lost vision in her left eye. Her nightmare was just beginning — Kelly was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic condition that only tends to get worse. MS is an unpredictable, disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, to the body. While there is no cure, high doses of medications and steroids, and painful injections, would be Kelly’s new way of life. She was told she would not get better, but medications may slow down her illness if she were lucky.
July 7, 2015
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. This is my first post here, so let me tell you what’s been going on and what I’m trying to do.
I was diagnosed in 2007 with Relapsing Remitting MS. That basically means that every once in a while my immune system decides that my nervous system is an invader and attacks it. This can be brought on by a cold, stress, heat, or just being overtired. I have 4 kids. There’s no way to avoid any of that! The doctors told me when I was diagnosed that it looked like I’d had MS for a really long time. Probably since my teens. I just turned 40. I’m ready to be done now.
There is no cure for MS. But recently I found a study they’re running in Chicago where they harvest a patients stem cells, give them chemotherapy, knock out their immune system and then replace the stem cells. Basically rebooting their immune system. It has an 86% success rate! It’s due to be approved by the FDA in 2022. I can’t wait that long. I don’t want my disability to progress.
If I get accepted there is a good chance that my insurance will cover most of the medical stuff. But, there’s more to it than that. I’d need airplane tickets to Chicago, a hotel room for the few weeks in between hospital stays and there’s a possibility that I’ll have to bring someone with me so I’m not alone in the hotel. I’m not sure what the rules on that are yet. There’s also a chance that I’ll be put in the “control arm” of the study. Which means they’ll put me on an approved MS drug and recheck me in 6 months. If I’ve gotten worse they will probably switch me over and give me the treatment. That’s a lot of flights back and forth to Chicago.
My other option is to travel out of the United States and have this done in Toronto or Mexico or one of the other five or six facilities that are offering this treatment. If I travel out of the country my insurance will not cover anything. That would definitely be out of network!
So, I’ve sent my initial information in to the hospital in Chicago and I’m still waiting to hear back. I am not going to give up. My family needs a fully functional mom and I’m determined to make this happen.
I’ve also started my own blog if you’d like to check it out. Stemmiesformommy.blogspot.com
Thanks for reading! Have an awesome day. 🙂
Photo Galleries (3)
August 2, 2015
Get them Stemmies! Good Luck....I am crossing my fingers and toes for you!
July 15, 2015
You are beautiful and I hope the very best for you Kelly and your family. I will ask prayers for you.
July 14, 2015
I shared this, hopefully it will hit someone's heart to donate. I will but I don't have much so I don't want to donate until you have so many donating you won't notice my $.50 ;-). I'll keep checking on your progress. You are very brave and incredible.