A Crowborough dad is fundraising for life changing stem cell treatment.
Ben Noakes, 34, hopes to raise another £15,000 for a treatment which could halt the unbearable side effects of his MS.
He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 11 years ago and has adapted to live with the condition.
However, in the last five years, his symptoms have become much worse.
He now deals with attacks during relapsing phases, this can involve: paralysis of the legs, brain fogs – a loss of memory, and serious fatigue.
Ben, from Bracken Close, wants to be able to play with his three kids: Alice, eight, Bailey, seven, and Teddy, aged two.
He said: “I struggle to pick them up. I can’t run after them, so I wouldn’t be able to go out with Teddy on my own, in case he runs off.”
Ben was set on becoming a financial advisor, last year (2017), but his symptoms meant he couldn’t continue revising for exams.
The treatment is a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT), not always available on the NHS.
It involves intense chemotherapy followed by an infusion of stem cells to reboot the immune system.
It has halted symptoms of MS in 86% of cases, and reversed the damage in 27%.
Ben has booked his flights to Moscow for August 28, where he will stay for treatment until September 26.
During this time, Ben will mostly stay in isolation whilst his immune system rebuilds.
Only a doctor and nurse can visit him.
Ben said: “I miss my kids even for a day, we’re so close. Going four weeks without them is going to be the bit I struggle with the most.”
He added: “It’s been hard work but I’ve prepared myself for the treatment. I know it needs to be done.”
Ben and his wife Nancie, 29, have raised £30,000 of their £45,000 goal since beginning fundraising in November 2017. A BBQ at Barnsgate Manor on August 3, and a family fun day in Crowborough on August 11 are the final fundraisers planned before Ben’s treatment. Further details can be found on Ben’s fundraising Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1987474124857062/10155404986971389/