By Renee Bogatko, Image Credits – supplied
Canberrans are rallying together to send one of our community’s much-loved women to Russia for life-changing MS treatment.
Mary P was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 17 years ago.
The news absolutely devastated her family.
Since then, Mary’s condition has deteriorated, meaning she can’t work, drive or walk long distances without help.
She suffers a range of problems, including fatigue, memory loss and mobility issues.
Despite the worsening state of her health, Mary’s nieces Sarah and Mary said she never complained.
“She never asked for any help. She continued to love her life, putting everyone before herself,” they said.
“Even through her own pain she protected us from seeing the debilitating effects of the disease, so we wouldn’t pity her.”
Last year, the family found out about Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) – a breakthrough treatment which has helped thousands of MS sufferers around the world.
Mary’s been approved for the treatment, but it comes at a cost – about $80,000.
She heads to Russia next month, so her family’s been busy raising money to help with the treatment costs.
So far, a GoFundMe page has raised over $18,000.
Because of the generous donations thus far, Mary and her brother Pat have secured flights, accommodation and the necessary visas.
But they still have a long way to go, with not much time.
There’s two big fundraisers happening in February which are gearing up to be wonderful jam-packed celebrations.
A Trivia Night kicks off at 7pm on Friday the 2nd of February.
There’ll be games, trivia, a silent auction, baked goods for sale, thousands of dollars worth of prizes and fantastic performances by the dancers at Subsdance Dance Studio and Tuggeranong Art Centre’s Fresh Funk.
When: Friday 2 February, 7pm-10pm
Where: Hellenic Club in Phillip (Olympus room)
Cost: $30pp or $250 for a table of 10 (+ booking fee)
You can also have fun and shed those extra Christmas kilos while helping raise funds for Mary at a Zumba-thon on Saturday the 10th of February!
Zumba bunnies Ali Rosenfeld (Subsdance), Alyson Vardos (Zumba with Aly) and Sarah Tulley (Mary’s niece) will get you moving to your favourite Zumba tracks, with a raffle and prizes to be won.
ZUMBA FOR MARY
When: Saturday 10 February, 10:30am-12pm
Where: St Francis Xavier College, Barnard Cct, Florey
Cost: $15 earlybird or $20 at the door
Mary’s nieces said the family’s incredibly grateful for the community’s support.
“Community support is key, as it helps raise awareness of MS and also gives people who have MS a possible lifeline through other treatment options when nothing else is working or available,” they said.
“It also helps provide a glimmer of hope, something that anyone else in this situation or with any chronic medical condition ultimately wants. A hope for help, a hope for a cure, a hope for a better life.”
Mary departs on February 25. Let’s help make this life-changing treatment happen for her!