Help for MS sufferer

Albion Park resident Troy Eccleston and his fiancée Ainslie Sackey are trying to raise funds to go to Russia for treatment for his Multiple Sclerosis. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Albion Park resident Troy Eccleston and his fiancée Ainslie Sackey are trying to raise funds to go to Russia for treatment for his Multiple Sclerosis. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

ALBION Park's Troy Eccleston is attempting to raise enough funds to head overseas and receive potentially life-changing treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.

MS is an autoimmune disorder, which means the body is triggered into thinking it is being invaded from the outside and starts attacking its own tissue.

In the case of MS, the nerve fibres from the brain and spinal cord are attacked and scarred.

This means that messages are no longer properly received by the muscles, hampering walking, arm and hand movement, eyesight and other areas.

"During the first 10 years since my diagnosis, my symptoms worsened gradually," Mr Eccleston said.

"I moved from the use of a leg brace, to a walking stick, to a crutch, but in the past two years I have needed the use of two crutches and now, I use a wheelchair most of the time.

"I cannot use my hands well, cannot write, need assistance to dry myself and dress and I struggle with the activities of daily living. I need constant 24 hour care assistance, which I get from my fiancée Ainslie Sackey."

The couple first met at the organic garden at Albion Park Community Centre two years ago, announcing their engagement last Christmas Day. They plan to marry next March.

But their lives are far from easy, as Ms Sackey suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Albion Park resident Troy Eccleston and his fiancée Ainslie Sackey are trying to raise funds to go to Russia for treatment for his Multiple Sclerosis. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Albion Park resident Troy Eccleston and his fiancée Ainslie Sackey are trying to raise funds to go to Russia for treatment for his Multiple Sclerosis. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

"You could say that we both know the value of rest, but we know that whatever happens, we have each other and no matter what the results of our fund-raising, we still have each other - and that's important," Ms Sackey said.

Mr Eccleston, 47, said it was frustrating that while HSCT (Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation) has been carried out for cancer patients for many years in Australia, he had been rejected from a trial at St Vincent's Hospital because he was considered to be too old and his MS too far advanced.

"There are many overseas sites that carry out HSCT for autoimmune disorders, particularly MS, and I have been accepted by the Pirogov Centre in Moscow, Russia for 30 days of treatment commencing on September 23 this year," Mr Eccleston said.

"My family and I, with the help of the community, are now fund-raising with a target of $70,000."

The treatment alone costs US$40,000 (AUS $42,500).

The couple have set up a Facebook page ("To Russia and Back to beat MS"), which will highlight the fund's progress, which reached $3800 in just 10 days.

There will be five fund-raising functions at various venues.

"We have less than 11 weeks until I am scheduled to leave for Russia, so we are appealing to one and all to get behind us in whatever way you can to help make this happen," he said.

The details for donations are: Horizon Credit Union, APYACC - Troy's Treatment Fund, BSB: 802 124, account no. 100074208.

Anyone wishing to donate items for auctions can leave them at Albion Park Youth and Community Care.

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