RAISING FUNDS FOR TREATMENT AND AWARENESS FOR MS SUFFERERS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF STEM-CELL TREATMENT TRACEY’S RACE TO WALK – A PARKRUN CHALLENGE, by Jill Taylor.
We have organised a series of events to help raise funds and awareness about the possibilities of specific stem-cell treatment for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
Please read Tracey’s story below and how her friends would love to help in as many ways as they can on behalf of her and her family.
Tracey’s Race To Walk
Tracey and friends will be partaking in the following parkruns and have already taken part in the Dartford Park and Danson Park ones to help raise awareness and funding. Please see the story below about what Tracey’s Race To Walk is about and for more information about Tracey’s story, plus details of how to help if you wish to:
26th January – Dulwich Park, Dulwich Common
A pause in the challenge while Tracey endures scheduled and gruelling treatment in hospital.
6th April – Norman Park, Bromley
13th April – Goddington Park, Orpington
27th April – Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham
4th May – Foots Cray Meadows
18th May – Great Lines, Medway
25th May – Dartford Heath (The last one!)
Schedule may change so please keep an eye on our page!
It was Monday, October 2015, Tracey Hergest, 37, started her day just like any other, a wife and mother to their two boys. It was half-term and that day whilst on a family trip she noticed her finger was numb, within a very short amount of time this progressed to something very more immediate and serious.
Within 48 hours Tracey was unable to walk, she had lost movement in her arms and her speech was slurred. As she was rushed to intensive care, her breathing unstable, the doctors and medical team were unsure what was happening. Tracey remained in Hospital for the next 7 months and as her condition deteriorated she was moved from hospital to hospital and was eventually diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis at Kings College Hospital: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/what-is-ms.
Tracey was unresponsive to treatment, the last attempt whilst being admitted being plasma exchange therapy: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1895577-overview.
On returning home Tracey was wheelchair bound, unable to climb stairs, movement was minimal and she was in constant pain. Tracey continued having tests but had numerous relapses. With every relapse her MS progressed and her condition deteriorated further. The doctors tried everything to slow down the disease but nothing worked:
This was when Tracey first heard about Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment, an amazing break through treatment that could halt the disease and vastly improve her quality of life.
After being assessed Tracey fell within the criteria for this treatment. There was a catch though, in order for her to access Stem Cell Therapy, she would first have to go through a lengthy treatment of immunotherapy, (Alemtuzumab) which would take around 2 years to complete, followed by three years of ‘Watch and wait’. Eager to get the ball rolling, Tracey started her first round of immunotherapy at the beginning of 2018, this was far from a cure, and due to the aggressive nature of her illness it would at best, slow its progression. Her only hope of getting the stem cell treatment on the NHS would be by going through the correct channels.
And this is why we are here…every time Tracey relapses she suffers irreparable damage to her spine & nerve endings from this aggressive illness. If she continues this intensive treatment for another year, plus another three years after, she may deteriorate further. If Tracey becomes permanently paralysed, she will no longer fit the criteria for Stem Cell Treatment and all hope will be lost. We, her family and friends refuse to sit back & watch that happen.
So this is our plea, on behalf of her husband,
two boys, family, friends and all who know and love her, and on behalf of MS
sufferers across the country, we are looking to raise £75,000 in order to fund
stem-cell treatment for Tracey. Please help us, no donation is too small
and every single £1 is a lifeline for our beautiful friend, who, at the age of
42 is terrified of watching her life pass her by.
On behalf of Tracey’s family and friends thank you from the bottom of our hearts for reading this story, anything you can give to help this wonderful family will be overwhelmingly received and appreciated.