Why I am walking for MS.
Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. Every day three more Canadians are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable illness that affects vision, balance, memory and mobility. We don’t know what causes MS and there is no cure.
Your support means Canadian families who are affected by this disease do not have to face MS alone.
Hello, my name is Andrea Yeatman and I am walking for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Nine years ago I was diagnosed with MS.
One morning, I woke up numb and tingling on my right side, from my waist down to my feet. I went to work thinking that I just slept on my side the wrong way but by the end of my day, it had worked its way up to my face and my spine I had an unexplainable sensation. I decided to go to a medical clinic and it was suggested that it may be a type of migraine. The doctor told me to go to the hospital if it didn’t get better after a few hours. At the hospital, after one exam they noticed my right eye was a little sluggish so they sent me for a CAT scan. I was cleared to go home but had an appointment with the neurologist the following month.
I met with the neurologist and I was sent for an MRI. The results showed two lesions on my brain, which at the age of 29, was said to be normal, however the doctor scheduled another MRI six month away to see if there were any changes.
After the second MRI, the neurologist explained that my lesions had increased from two to nine and then I heard the words, “You have Multiple Sclerosis”!
After having to inject myself every second day for five years, I relapsed and was told that the injections were not helping to stagnate the disease and doing more damage than good. I was taken off of injections and switched to a pill version of a different medication. Two years later, I relapsed again and more and more lesions had developed on my brain.
My doctor changed my medication but in less than one year I had another relapse and a new MRI identified many more lesions. Once again, the prescription I was taking was not keeping the disease at bay. I was showing additional symptoms of MS and my body was slowly deteriorating.
The neurologist told me that none of the approved drugs were working or were strong enough to slow down the progression of the disease and informed me that I met the conditions for a clinical stem cell year-long trial for MS patients.
As I had no other options, I chose to participate in the trial, in hopes that the results would help me and others who suffer from MS.
I am now half through the study and so far have only relapsed once in the first three months. My hope is that the results of the trial will lead to the development of a medication that is strong enough to slow the growth of the disease or eliminate it altogether.
I face challenges every day, as do others who live with this disease. A relapse can last months. The symptoms can sometimes be visual or sometimes be extremely painful. There are even times that the symptoms never really go away.
Thank you for reading my story. With your help, perhaps one day there will be a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
When you donate to my fundraising efforts for the MS Walk, your funds are invested into research to find the cause and cure for the disease, while providing services to Canadians with multiple sclerosis and their families.
Thank you in advance for joining the fight to end MS.