A lorry and tractor run will be held on Sunday, September 13th to raise funds for a 25-year-old’s MS stem cell treatment.
Christopher McGonnell, a Monaghan native, has been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS), an aggressive autoimmune disease that slowly destroys the brain and spinal cord, disabling the whole body and all functions until it may lead to full disability.
“It is an unpredictable disease, and no one can exactly say what is going to happen next. My quality of life has majorly decreased since I have been diagnosed with this debilitating disease.” Christopher explained.
He is appealing to the public to row in behind him to raise €50,000 so he can undergo stem cell treatment known as Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT).
“Rather than just getting up and going to work like any regular 24-year-old, my days now involve attending weekly oxygen chamber sessions, physiotherapy, acupuncture, gym and pool to try and maintain the bodily functions that I have.”
“However, I have tried every kind of treatment there is available to me in Ireland and still the disease is progressing. Normal activities of everyday living have become a major chore.”
“I no longer can take things for granted, such as getting out of bed, walking without falling, using the bathroom, clear speech, standing and having balance, clear thinking, clear vision and climbing the stairs which I can’t do without a railing.”
“I’ve researched everything to do with this disease and treatment, I’ve talked to others who have had this treatment and have made the decision to go for it despite the risks, as my day is filled with the fear of the unknown and I dread to continue living the way I am as I can clearly see the disease progress.”
This treatment will require him to be in Russia for 32 days. The family have recently received confirmation of a new date of September 16th to travel from the Emerald Isle treatment.
He was initially scheduled to undergo treatment in mid-May and then mid-July; however, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a delay.
“HSCT is a complex procedure that requires a bone marrow transplant similar to that used by oncologists for certain blood cancers.”
“My hope is that this stem cell treatment will give me my only chance at having some kind of quality of life and a future.”
The tractor run will leave from McAnenley’s yard Moy Bridge. Registration from 11am, with the run set to get underway at 1.30pm. Raffle and spot prizes on the day.