Community rallying behind MS patient
Hant’s Harbour man hopeful that Bulgaria trip will improve his quality of life
Friends and family of Dave King of Hant’s Harbour are fundraising to help him pay the cost of so-called “liberation treatment” in Bulgaria this fall.
Dave King of Hant’s Harbour has no intention of surrendering to the discouragement Multiple Sclerosis sufferers often feel.
“ There’s no point in becoming discouraged or downhearted,” the 47-year-old stated. “If you take that attitude, you’re not going to get better.”
King was diagnosed with MS in 1996. Since then, he has fought the onslaught of the disease with every ounce of energy.
The National MS Society website defines the condition as “a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.”
Since his diagnosis, King has tried several drugs, including daily injections, chemotherapy and IV steroids.
“I’ve tried them all,” King said. “ The only hope with needles is to keep you in the place where you currently are.”
King compares his MS to “a leaky faucet. It’s always there.”
Because of his determination and willingness to try a variety of drugs and procedures, King has prolonged the inevitable — confinement to a wheelchair. Meanwhile, getting around is becoming increasingly more difficult.
In February, King travelled to Halifax and underwent deep-brain stimulation. The treatment helped to control the tremors in his right hand. On the down side, it did nothing to help with leg mobility.
Today, new treatments and research advances are giving renewed hope to MS patients.
One such innovation is chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, also known as liberation treatment.
CCSVI compromises the blood flow in the veins, draining the central nervous system.
The treatment is promising but controversial. People with MS regard it as effective treatment, while most of the medical community question the results of the procedure.
Because CCSVI is unavailable in Canada, King is planning a trip to Bulgaria, one of the countries where the treatment is performed. He’s scheduled to travel there in early November.
There’s no guarantee of success with liberation treatment, King admitted. However, other MS patients in the province have received this treatment outside Canada and have reported great success.
“ It’s preliminary,” King said. “ However, I could see it working. It allows the blood in your brain to flow again.”
The procedure comes with a hefty price tag — around $20,000.
The provincial Medical Care Plan does not cover any of this cost. All expenses, including travel to and from Bulgaria, tests, surgery and the subsequent hospital stay, are King’s sole responsibility.
A community committee has been formed to fund-raise on behalf of the King family. Various events are being planned to assist in this project.
A bank account, in the name of “ Dave King - Benefit Fund Committee,” has been established at the Heart’s Content branch of the Royal Bank for those who wish to make donations.
Dave King of Hant’s Harbour will travel to Bulgaria in November to undergo the so-called “ liberation treatment” for patients with MS.