Vail Daily letter: Thank you is not enough
On Feb. 23, this valley came out to support me in my upcoming journey of a lifetime. I was headed to Mexico for a stem-cell transplant to rid my body of multiple sclerosis. The enthusiasm from people was really incredible.
I’ve battled MS for 26 years. The first 20 years, you didn’t know I had MS; the past six years, you’ve watched me start to need a cane to walk and recently get a motorized scooter to get around. That downward spiral all changed this past fall when I was accepted into a treatment protocol called HSCT.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplant — this treatment has been used for decades to treat certain cancers and has been in clinical trials in the U.S. for approximately the past 10 years with very promising results for autoimmune conditions like MS. However, it is not projected to become available as a treatment in the U.S. for MS until 2025. Thankfully, other countries are performing this procedure, and I was accepted for the treatment in Monterrey, Mexico. I was extremely excited and terrified at the same time because it came with a $60,000 price tag.
My friends said, “We’ll fundraise.” The idea of it was so overwhelming, but that’s where all of you come in. The people in this valley are truly extraordinary! The turnout at 7 Hermits on Feb. 23 was amazing! Thank you to everyone to came out to support my journey. So many people were there; I know for sure I didn’t see everyone.
The Vail Valley Charitable Fund’s support and guidance through the fundraising process was invaluable. I couldn’t have done it without you. And my friends who made up my fundraising team: You have all been my biggest supporters and cheerleaders over the years. You convinced me it was possible to raise the money I needed to pay for the HSCT.
To all the silent auction donors and bidders, thank you! Thanks to 7 Hermits for hosting the event; it was the perfect venue. And most of all, to the people of the Eagle Valley — wow! Thank you for your support! Words can’t express how indebted I am to you, thank you for believing in me and giving me the chance of a new lease on life. I am forever grateful.
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