Mum launches £50,000 appeal for MS treatment in Russia

Jewish Care worker says: 'I don't want to get worse and not be there for my children'


A North London mum is trying to raise £50,000 to undergo multiple sclerosis treatment in Russia she is currently ineligible for on the NHS.

Fiona Elias, 34, said the stem cell treatment would rebuild her immune system and stop her condition from deteriorating.

“MS impacts on every aspect of my life. And I want to stop it from getting worse.”

She launched the GoFundMe appeal after the discovery of new lesions on her brain.

“The thing with MS is that it is totally unpredictable,” she said. “I could have a relapse and end up in a wheelchair - you just don’t know. The earlier you have the treatment the better.” 

More than two million people globally suffer from the degenerative autoimmune condition which damages nerves, leading to reduced muscle control.

Ms Elias, who has daughters aged six and two, already finds it difficult to “be like the other fun mums. 

"I walk with difficulty and wear a brace on my leg. I can’t run after them and I want to be able to have fun with them.  

“When I have a bad relapse, I can’t get out of bed. I can’t take care of myself which means I can’t take care of my children.

“I don’t want to get worse and not be there for them.”

The treatment uses the patient’s own stem cells to reset the immune system after an intensive round of chemotherapy.

“I’m not taking the decision lightly,” Ms Elias said. “The treatment has been proven in clinical trials. I just need the help to get it.”

The money would cover the treatment and after-care, plus flights and visas.

Ms Elias, who works for Jewish Care, was diagnosed with the condition in 2006 after a ten-year struggle to get doctors to recognise her symptoms. 

The appeal has raised £3,000 in its first few days.

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