If you'd like to help...

If you'd like to help...
Every dollar helps. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Heartfelt Request...

I’m not normally one to ask for help, but here goes nothing…
If you knew me 15 years ago you’d remember me as a fun active outdoorsy type girl.  I rode horses, mountain biked, hiked, swam, really anything active. I’d be working all day and singing in a band at night. I even did volunteer work with my licensed therapy dog dog at local nursing homes and hospitals.  But even back then I knew something wasn’t right.  How could all of my friends be so active, so effortlessly?  Well, I told myself, I must not be trying hard enough.  So I’d try harder.
About 7 years ago, after a few weeks at a new gym, I suddenly lost feeling in the right side of my body.  “I must have pulled something at the gym” I thought.  A few weeks later I lost vision in my left eye.  What was going on!  A few weeks later I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.  They told me that, by looking at my brain scans, that it looked like I’d had it for over 10 years.  Wow, I guess I wasn’t such a wimp.  They told me there was no cure but they could monitor me, give me high doses of steroids when needed, and that I had to give myself painful injections for the rest of my life.  It wouldn’t get better, but they could probably slow it down.  I felt hopeless.
I carried on with my life.  I’ve had many “relapses” over the years.  I had to give up my job and go on disability.  I can’t stand the heat.  I can't walk for very long anymore.  I can’t sing.  I just can’t remember the lyrics.  But, I got married to my college sweetheart and we had two adorable daughters to add to his two wonderful girls.  My husband has his culinary degree and as a little extra MS kick in the pants,  a relapse caused me to lose most of my sense of taste.  (He's a great cook,  really!). Life was as good as it was going to get.  I was sad, but I had to accept it.
One day while trolling the internet I found some amazing and completely shocking news.  A doctor in Chicago was running the 3rd phase of clinical trials using chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to CURE MS!  Are you kidding me?  Now, he doesn’t use the word cure, but there’s an 86% success rate.  You read that right: EIGHTY SIX PERCENT! Days after I found this treatment my 4 year old little girl greeted me in the morning really excited.  "Mommy",  she said "I cleaned my room so you don't have to.  'Cuz you're sick". It broke my heart.  I need to make this happen.
The catch is that it’s in Chicago.  We live in upstate NY. My husband,  my step daughters and some of my local friends here in the Adirondacks have agreed to watch over my 2 young daughters (2 and 4). I’ll have to put my motherly worries aside so that I can get better and come back to them as the healthy mother that they deserve.  Most of the therapy itself is covered by insurance, but there are other costs that I’d need to pay for myself.  Not to mention hotels, food, etc.  If I am not accepted into this study I am not going to give up.  But that means heading to Mexico or Toronto where insurance wouldn’t cover any of the costs.  It would be around $150,000. I’m scared that I won’t be able to afford this.
So, if you can find it in your hearts to help me I would be ETERNALLY grateful.  So would my family.  A fundraising campaign has been established in my honor with HelpHopeLive. HelpHopeLive is a non-profit organization that has been assisting the transplant community with fundraising for over 25 years. Can you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to my campaign?
Make checks payable to: HelpHopeLive [New York Stem Cell Transplant Fund]
Note in memo section: In honor of Kelly Gaiser
Please mail to: HelpHopeLive
150 N. Radnor Chester Road – Suite F120
Radnor, PA 19087
For credit card contributions, please call 800-642-8399 or visit www.helphopelive.org and enter Kelly Gaiser in the “Find a Patient” box on the homepage.
My family and I deeply appreciate your consideration and support.   Really, we do!
Kelly Gaiser