Old Buckenham man’s Mexico trip aims to stop his MS in its tracks
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
It is a debilitating condition which can rob people of their ability to walk, see and even think.
But now Old Buckenham man Martin Manning, 47, is hoping to stop his multiple sclerosis (MS) in its tracks by flying to Mexico to undergo a revolutionary treatment.
Mr Manning will be following in the footsteps of former BBC war correspondent Caroline Wyatt, who paid £62,000 to go to Mexico for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) treatment earlier this year.
Mr Manning was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago and has spent the last two years in a wheelchair.
He said: 'I'm really just hoping to halt the MS where it is. I don't mind being in a wheelchair, but the MS is quite aggressive and other symptoms will come sooner rather than later. I would like to be able to keep feeding myself and not be stuck in bed all day.'
The treatment, which was first trialled in the 1990s, involves removing harmful immune cells and re-growing the patient's immune system after harvesting stem cells from their bone marrow or blood.
He said: 'I will go through four rounds of chemotherapy, so I will certainly lose my hair. The idea is basically to lop out your immune system and put in a new one.'
Ms Wyatt reported that after her treatment the 'brain fog began to lift' and she had felt better she had in a long time.
Although HSCT has been trialled at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, Mr Manning said he would not qualify for their programme, as they were ey looking at 'relaxing remitting' MS, while he had another kind, secondary progressive MS.
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Mr Manning said the treatment would take about four weeks, starting on July 17, and would take place at the Clínica Ruiz in Monterrey.
He and his family have already raised £48,000 by re-mortgaging their home, and he hopes to raise another £12,000 to help pay for the treatment.
Mr Manning said friends of his were planning fundraisers to help him pay for the trip.
There will be a quiz night on Friday June 23, 7pm, at Connaught Hall, Attleborough.
To donate to Mr Manning's cause, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/martin-manning