Help Va­lerie fly to In­dia to treat MS

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Inge Hansen inge.hansen@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

ALL Va­lerie McMa­hanKe­den wants is to see her 10 grand­chil­dren grow up.

But since be­ing di­ag­nosed with Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis (MS), she be­lieves the like­li­hood of her wish com­ing true is slim.

That is un­less she can have a haematopoi­etic stem cell trans­plant – a treat­ment no longer avail­able in Aus­tralia – which works by halt­ing the ef­fects of MS.

“The doc­tor who orig­i­nally di­ag­nosed me (with MS) was do­ing (the treat­ment) but he was stopped,” she said.

“They take out your baby stem-cells, clean them, give me chemo­ther­apy to kill my im­mune sys­tem and then put the cells back in,” she said.

The ill­ness has made the long-time Whit­sun­day lo­cal legally blind and has left her re­quir­ing the aid of a walker and wheel­chair.

Ms McMa­han-Ke­den’s orig­i­nal plan was to travel to Sin­ga­pore for the treat­ment which would cost $115,000.

But re­cently, she has changed her plan.

“My goal is to now get to In­dia be­cause it’s cheaper but they still use proper pro­to­col,”

“So far, I’ve raised $15,000 but I need at least $34,000 to get to In­dia.”

Ms McMa­han-Ke­den said it would “mean the world” to her to be able to see her grand­kids grow up.

“Fifty two is just too young to go, I reckon.”

“I need to en­joy the Whitsundays and the peo­ple around.”

Over the past nine months, mul­ti­ple fundrais­ers have been held to help Ms McMa­han-Ke­den reach her goal and since the be­gin­ning, she has not been short of sup­port from her loved ones.

“We’ve done a few fundrais­ers and done meat raf­fles but you can only do so many,” she said.

To do­nate to Ms McMa­han-Ke­den’s cause, visit gofundme.com/ 2dw545u4,

PHOTO: INGE HANSEN

HOPE: Va­lerie McMa­han-Ke­den is hop­ing to raise enough funds to get to In­dia for MS treat­ment.

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