Mum’s date set for procedure in Russia
Rolleston woman Andrea Cameron-Hill is a step closer to potential relief from her multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms with a date set for a procedure in Russia.
Cameron-Hill was diagnosed with MS 10 months after the birth of her twin sons, Lachlan and Oliver.
‘‘While I was pregnant I had to physically lift my left leg into the car. I just thought the boys were sitting on a nerve or something,’’ she said.
Being unable to watch her boys play rugby from the sidelines was one of things that upset her most.
‘‘I can’t even go onto the field without a struggle, trying to walk to the field, to then stand and watch the game. That’s why I ended up doing Google searches and found out about stem cell treatment.
‘‘I’m so over being a spectator in my life,’’ she said.
Cameron-Hill had booked in to undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at the National Pirogov Medical Surgical Centre in Moscow, on May 28.
HSCT would remove and concentrate her stem cells before chemotherapy would wipe her immune system. The stem cells would then be returned to her body.
Including recovery, CameronHill would be in Russia alone for more than five weeks. She needed to finish raising $80,000 before the May deadline.
The procedure itself cost about NZ$75,000. A close friend had gifted Cameron-Hill $40,000 towards the procedure, which along with her own fundraising efforts put her about $30,000 away from meeting her target.
‘‘I’m up to $50,000 and I’ve got a painting here my cousin donated, which is worth $5000, which I’ll try and sell,’’ Cameron-Hill said.
In July, leading New Zealand neurologist Dr Deborah Mason said HSCT was ‘‘unproven’’, came with risks and was unlikely to be trialled in New Zealand.
She said she would enroll
‘‘I'm so over being a spectator in my life.’’
patients in trials and research if they occurred in New Zealand, but finding funding for such trials could be difficult.
Cameron-Hill said she was positive about the procedure’s outcome after meeting Royce Brewer earlier in the year. Brewer had lived with MS for about 20 years before undergoing HSCT in Russia in 2016. He returned to work as a landscaper later that year.
‘‘I just know that it will work,’’ Cameron-Hill said.
Rolleston woman Andrea Cameron-Hill with her husband Paul and twin sons Lachlan and Oliver.