Donations help rabbi reach target for MS treatment in Mexico

A £5,000 cheque sent to Rabbi Schulman via the JC this week has helped him reach his target


A rabbi has reached his £60,000 fundraising target to receive pioneering treatment to halt his Multiple Sclerosis thanks to donations from the Jewish community. 

Rabbi Gideon Schulman said he was “overwhelmed” by the number of substantial donations. His story appeared in the JC last month.

A £5,000 cheque sent to the JC for Rabbi Schulman this week has helped him reach his target.

Rabbi Schulman, 39, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 16 years ago while studying for a masters at Leicester University and started fundraising for the treatment a few months ago.

He said the donations meant he could travel to Mexico to receive hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) — a process that, in effect, wipes and reboots the immune system by harvesting stem cells and using chemotherapy.

More than 2,000 people globally have received the treatment with a 75 per cent success rate of halting any further progression of the disease.

He said: “The generosity has amazed me. I don’t know anything about the people who have given such large sums of money other than their names.

“But it means treatment is a reality for me and I will be able to have it, go away and recover.”

Rabbi Schulman said since speaking publicly about his efforts he has felt like “some sort of Z-list celebrity.

“The other day I was in the doctors having a blood test and a guy came up to me and said he had read about my story and donated.

"I think it is great that people to come and tell me who they are.”

He joked the treatment “has a zero per cent fatality rate and that appealed”.

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