Eileen Park of Hinesville is ready for the day when she can feel normal again. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, she is hoping to receive a new treatment in the near future that may help her lead a more active lifestyle.
Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is a disease that affects the spinal cord and brain. It results in the loss of balance, vision, muscle control and sensation.
As a result of having the disease, Eileen has problems with her vision, speech, balance, feet and bladder.
“They thought I had had a stroke at first. They weren’t sure what was wrong. Then they did an MRI and found out I was a mess,” she said.
Park currently receives a daily injection of copaxone that is used to help reduce the number and severity of relapses and may also delay disabilities. She has been receiving the injections for about two years and thinks it has helped slow down her MS.
But Eileen’s daughter, Suze, discovered a new treatment while browsing the Internet one day.
“She told me about it and I blew it off at first. Then, my friend Judy read up about it and thought it would be good,” Park said.
The new treatment is a biotherapy stem cell treatment. Stem cell therapy consists of healthy stem cells that can replace and repair damaged cells. Biotherapy stem cell treatment uses stem cells from the umbilical cords of babies that are carried to full term. These are informed consent donations and, according to www.stemcellbiotherapy.com, are not subject to ethical issues.
“Judy gathered a lot of information and really got the ball going,” Park said.
The treatment generally consists of one round and, at $25,000 a round, is not covered by Park’s insurance company.
Her husband, Bob, finds it hard to understand why the treatment isn’t covered.
“It’s hard to understand why insurance companies won’t pay for this. They’re paying $10,000 a month now to cover her injections, and if they paid for the biotherapy stem cell treatment, she may not need the injections anymore,” he said.
The treatment has almost immediate results for those who receive it.
“I’m hoping to have a burst of energy and improvement in my speech and balance,” Eileen Park said.
She is also hoping she will be able to spend more quality time with her grandchildren.
“I want to be able to kick the ball with them,” she said.
To help raise money to cover the treatment, several fundraisers are being planned.
A charity golf tournament will be hosted at Cherokee Rose Country Club at 1 p.m. Nov. 3. There is a $200 entry fee for each team.
Teams will be comprised of four people. Participants are encouraged to sign up for the tournament early, and people may also volunteer to help out during the event. There will be cash prizes for those who win first and second place, and Bob Park said they are hoping to have a car for the person who wins the hole in one.
“I like to play golf and figured it would be a good way to raise money and have fun. I had a friend who held a charity golf tournament to raise money for his brother’s family and it was very successful,” Bob Park said.
Their daughter, Suze’s, in-laws, who reside in Winston Salem, will host a dinner to raise money as well.
Two garage sales are also planned. One will take place during the Great MWR Post-Wide Yard Sale in the Club Stewart parking lot from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27. Another garage sale is planned for Nov. 10-11 at 300 E. Court St. and will last all day on both days. People will have the opportunity to purchase items as well as donate money.
A drawing will be held at Cross Screen Printing on Dec. 4 for a Christmas sampler quilted throw. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The winner will not need to be present to win. Tickets may be purchased at Cross Screen Printing.
Donations may also be sent to (Biotherapy Eileen Park) Heritage Bank in Hinesville, Ga. or to 300 E. Court St.
For more information about the fundraisers, call Bob Park at (912) 242-2035 or Judy Finch at (912) 492-2591.
For more information about the treatment visit www.stemcellbiotherapy.com