Sarah heads to Russia in latest battle in war on MS

SARAH Woolford is not the sort of person to take a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis lying down.

Since being diagnosed in 2012, she has been researching its causes and the latest in MS medical research.

She has booked herself in to a Russian hospital next September to have a process called hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), which she hopes will stop the progress of the disease.

"I have a lot of life to live. I want to get to a good, ripe old age," she said.

The Casino mum says she has "good days and bad days" and at the moment is able to work three days a week as a teacher.

The process, which is only in trial stage in Australia, involves removing and storing stem cells from the patient before an extensive round of chemotherapy.

The stem cells are then transplanted back into the body to "re-boot the immune system". The process takes 30 to 35 days, including seven to 10 days in isolation when the immune system is at its lowest. Follow-up care is available in Brisbane.

The process is available in several countries but Sarah said Russia was the most affordable.

"This is something that is proven (to work); it's not new age," she said.

Sarah said it would cost $45,000 plus airfares to get the transplant done in Russia and she was already well under way with fundraising.

So far $10,000 has been raised in an online auction which has the support of several Casino businesses.

Now a committee of family and friends is organising a night of magic, glamour and fun at the Casino RSM Club on Saturday, October 25.

Called To The Moon and Back (which is also the name of Sarah's blog, where she tells of her journey with MS), it will feature a two-course dinner, entertainment, auctions and raffles.

"A mother's mission to Moscow to halt MS with HSCT" is the cause and the prizes on offer include a signed and framed 2013 Roosters NRL premiership jersey, a hot air balloon ride and champagne breakfast for two, and in true Casino style, a butchered steer that will fill your freezer.

There are plenty of other items up for grabs and raffle tickets are on sale now at Arum Clothing, RV Meats and other shops in town.

More details are available on Sarah's Facebook page.



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