Burton Latimer man with MS hopes to raise £40,000 for life-changing treatment

A Burton Latimer man is hoping to raise £40,000 to pay for treatment which could halt the decline in his health.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 9th February 2016, 5:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 5:20 am
Lucy and Steve Kerly
Lucy and Steve Kerly

Steve Kerly, 42, has progressive multiple sclerosis which is slowly crippling him.

But after watching a recent BBC TV programme, he and his family are now trying to raise the money needed to get the treatment which could prevent his condition worsening.

A former Corby man who says his hope was reawoken by the same programme is hoping to raise £30,000 for the same treatment.

Steve Kerly

Steve’s wife Lucy said: “Steve was diagnosed with MS at 29 and his health has declined over the years.

“He is now wheelchair reliant and needs help with everyday things such as cutting up his dinner and showering.

“The progression will continue and the future scares us, but a few weeks ago the BBC’s Panorama programme showed a treatment called HSCT being used to treat MS.

“It’s been around for a long time, primarily as a cancer treatment, but now they are doing trials on patients with MS here in the UK.

Steve Kerly

“It works by taking out your stem cells and harvesting them, then blitzing the body with chemotherapy to destroy the current immune system, then reintroducing the stem cells back into the body.

“Effectively this takes your immune system back to pre MS days!

“We learned that this process cannot repair damage already done, unless it is fresh damage, but it can stop the progression because the bad cells that were attacking the immune system have been removed.

“This was very exciting news for us and I immediately got on the case to find out how and when Steve could get this treatment.

“To our complete despair and disbelief the UK trials are only available for early stage MS, because it’s more effective on these patients.

“We know it isn’t going to make him walk again but to halt progression would be a miracle.

“So undeterred I searched the internet and found other worldwide facilities which carry out this procedure.

“I joined every Facebook forum out there and started talking to people who have had the treatment or waiting to have it.

“Every story is so positive, they talk about being cured, they now say ‘I had MS’ not ‘I have MS’!

“These brave people gave us the courage to apply for treatment abroad, and Steve has been accepted and is now on the waiting list at a clinic in Mexico!

“It’s all fantastic except now we have to raise £40,000 to fund the treatment.

“We will be holding lots of fundraising events, from coffee afternoons to a Mexican-themed pub crawl, with the main fundraiser being a black tie charity ball.

“My sister has also written a song about Steve and his fight with MS and she has had it recorded by a professional singer.

“We will be creating a slideshow of pictures to go along with this and getting it on YouTube.”

A Just Giving page has been set up for Steve, which can be found here.