19 June 2020

Raising funds for stem cell transplant therapy so Donna can dance on tables again

| My Gungahlin
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Ngunnawal resident Donna Faull is raising funds for a stem cell transport to help control her MS so she can dance on tables again!

In 2009, after raising two boys and returning to work, Donna Faull was forced to give up work as it had become too tiring and stressful. After discussing it with her partner Tim Daly, they decided they could manage on one wage and Donna gratefully started her new life as a lady of leisure. Unfortunately the fatigue did not abate and she started to become unsteady on her feet. After a few GP visits and finally a referral to a Neurologist, Donna was diagnosed as suffering from Multiple Sclerosis in 2011. After some trials of standard MS medication the progression of the disease continued, and in 2013 Donna was prescribed Gilenya, a second stage medication. This seemed to stop the progression but in the last 6 months the MS has again progressed and confirmed by her latest MRI.

The MS specialist has advised that the only option now available is for a stem cell transplant. For various reasons stem cell procedures for Donna’s stage of MS is not available in Australia but is available in the US, Russia, Germany and Singapore. The latter was recommended by Donna’s specialist as an excellent option that was also closer to home. The cost for the treatment alone is $110,000AUD and on top of that, they will incur travel, accommodation and living expenses for the minimum three months Donna and Tim will be in Singapore for the treatment and initial recovery. After that there will be another three months of recovery and rehabilitation at home.

Donna is stubborn and proud and is determined to not let this disease beat her. She is only 47 with grown up children and has a lot of life to look forward and unfortunately it may be a future confined to a wheelchair unless we can get her to Singapore. As her friends and family know, Donna is the kindest and the most caring person you could ever meet and we hope for her sake that some of what she puts out into the world comes back to her in the form of help to get her dancing on tales again!

The stem cell transplant treatment basically involves removing her existing stem cells, going through chemotherapy to completely knock out her immune system, transplanting the treated stem cells back in and essentially “re-booting” her system so the MS stops telling her body to attack healthy tissues it sees as dangerous or compromised.

You can follow Donna’s story on Facebook and keep informed of fundraising activities and events: www.facebook.com/Do.It.For.Donna

You can donate through Donna’s MyCause page: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/117053/do-it-for-donna

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