OK, people. Let’s do this.
Maybe you read my Facebook post the other day that linked to a very special Go Fund Me regarding my friend Susannah. Or maybe you didn’t, so here I am trying to get your attention again.
When Susannah and I met some years ago as copywriters on the same creative team, I immediately knew I had found a kindred spirit. I confided all sorts of things to her about how terrified I was about wanting a baby. I remember when she told me she was 7 weeks pregnant with her son. She quickly became the person I sought out for advice on life. This is simply because she is the most creative mother I know and the best writer I know.
Yesterday Susannah told us she was diagnosed with MS. She is traveling to Tel Aviv in January to undergo a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. From her blog, Petunia Face:
“The easiest explanation of HSCT is this: the patient has her stems cells removed via bone marrow aspiration or peripheral blood, then given high dose chemotherapy to ablate the immune system. Then the patient is given back her stem cells to re-set the immune system. Think of it like a re-boot of your computer, wiping the hard drive clean and starting over. The immune system has to learn all over again which things to fight (pathogens like bacteria and viruses) and which things to leave alone (myelin).
HSCT is currently in Phase III clinical trial in the US, but the acceptance criteria is quite narrow as they seek FDA approval. I was not accepted. However, there are many international hospitals and clinics that have been performing HSCT for auto-immune diseases for years: Germany, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Russia and Israel.
I have been accepted for treatment by the International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy in Tel Aviv headed by Prof. Slavin, the man who pioneered the use of HSCT for MS. I check in on January 4th and will be there about 6 weeks.
Unfortunately, HSCT is not cheap. Treatment alone is $128,000 plus I have to stay at a sterile hotel that’s connected to the clinic at roughly $15,000, airfare, food, expenses, etc. for a grand total of $160,000. I am looking to raise $85,000.
Here’s the thing: if you’re reading this then you know me somehow. Maybe we are good friends or family, we work together or did at some point. Maybe we grew up together or you read my blog or I’m a friend of a friend of a cousin of that girl. You know the one? That’s me. And I refuse to be that girl you know who has MS.
I am going to be that girl you know who beat MS.
And whatever you can contribute to help me do that, I cannot thank you enough.”
So. If you are reading this, you know me somehow as well. As Susannah would say, Let’s fight this fucker. Please consider making a donation, however small, to help someone who has touched my life in ways I cannot put into words.
Here is the link to make a donation: http://www.gofundme.com/The-Girl-Who-Beat-MS