On June 15, 2007, I went to Chicago to take part in a procedure called "Non-myeloablative Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation (HSCT) for Multiple Sclerosis" at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL to put my RRMS (Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) into a long term remission. With testing and hospitalization, it took two months to complete.
As of this date (August 18, 2015), it has been a little over 8 years since the procedure. There has been no lesion activity as shown by MRI taken nearly every year since the procedure in 2007.
My goal with these pages is to spread the word of this procedure to all people who have an Autoimmune disease, to those who care for them, and maybe even to some doctors and/or Insurance Company Executives by keeping them informed of this procedure.
Unfortunately, this procedure is not for all those with MS. There are several criteria that must be met to qualify. It is my goal to find ways to inform those with Autoimmune diseases that may be interested and want to look into this procedure. This procedure has been very successful in putting people with MS into complete remission.
I was one of the first individuals to undergo this procedure for MS (or one very similar). Now there is an effort to spread the word. My friends, Sandi Selvi and Marc Coppins have both decided for this procedure. Their stories are inspiring.
Many of us with MS and other Autoimmune Disorders are building a community in the hope of spreading the HSCT word so more people can stop the progression of these terrible diseases. If you are on Facebook, then check out this Facebook Group: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment - MS &Autoimmune Disorders.
It is the mission of this website to provide the valuable information of this procedure and my recovery experiences to the MS Community (more than 2.5 million in the United States alone) and far more in the World at large. Sadly, this procedure is not for everyone with MS. It works best for those in the early RRMS (Relapsing - Remitting) stage. But the procedure has still been effective in halting progression in the SPMS and PPMS stages, as well. I am sorry to say that those with advanced disease MS may receive little symptomatic benefit from this procedure. However, each person is unique, as is each person's MS. I recommend a consult with Dr. Burt's office to get an evaluation appointment.
Would I undergo the procedure again, given what I now know? Absolutely, Yes! I have an unknown future again, with a better quality of life now. I see this procedure as the first step in curing MS for good. That being a halt to the progression of the disease from doing further damage, The second step being a way to regenerate myelin and to accelerate the creation of new neural connections to replace those destroyed.
My prayer for myself, and for those afflicted with this disease, is for everyone to understand that God would not place this burden on us if He felt we couldn't handle it. God is good. He gives strength, and answers our prayers according to His will. I pray that by undergoing and documenting this procedure, the message will get out that there is a viable treatment for MS (and other Autoimmune Diseases). If the procedure is done at an early stage in the disease progression, then there is a chance to dramatically improve quality of life and to halt further disease progression.
My experience with this disease thus far has proven without a doubt that God truly directs my life. He gave me unlooked-for opportunities when all things in my life looked hopeless. He showed me the truth that many things in my life that I thought were important, really were not. While I have disappointed people close to me and failed many times, God never fails.