Hope for Treatment After 40 Years with Multiple Sclerosis

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I think the worst thing you can do when you're sick, is make yourself into a victim. When you choose to be a victim, and in a sense you stop living. I'm not going to do that and I'm going to hold myself to the same standard that I would have, if I were healthy. Life's unfair, and what's the next line?

I mean it just doesn't take you anywhere. I was in denial at the very beginning for sure and I kept saying to the doctor I'm sure it's just in my head, but then six months later, I went blind in one eye which is a classic manifestation of the illness. Destinations are uncertain, this disease goes in lots of directions. You don't know that where you are today is going to be where you are tomorrow when you wake up.

I'm tired of sitting back and just waiting to see what comes. Too many people go to doctors and say cure me, I think you've got to be aggressive, I think you've got to make choices for yourself, and so I begin with Dr. Sadiq, and it's quite extraordinary, he said to me I've had this application in three years to do a clinical trial with stem cells. Lo and behold, the FDA approved it, and I got in to the trial.

This is the first time in 40 years, the idea of hope has even entered my head. I don't think Doctor Sadiq has a clue what's going to happen. He wasn't promising anything, he wasn't telling me that this will happen or that will happen, but he said maybe. Maybe, who knows? Maybe you can get off your can.

Maybe you could get some eye sight back if the disease progressions stops, that's a huge victory.

Do you feel pressure Richard? What do you feel?

A little a sharp pain but not bad. I had a bone marrow aspiration. They extracted bone marrow, and in that bone marrow are millions and millions of stem cells and in theory they can help restore some, all, who knows neural transmission. I like anybody else, was aware of stem cell therapy. I knew that some day, and some day sort of the way I always framed it, maybe, just maybe it could help me.

We're pioneers, we're on the cutting edge. For 40 years I've been told there's nothing we can do. The idea of helping to shape my own future and dealing with my own problems is very liberating.