Nikita Hoile was diagnosed with relapsing and remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) in 2015, but has been suffering from the disease since 2012. “This is when my first episode occurred and I lost my vision, speech and my ability to walk. Thankfully, my body was at a stage where it could repair itself and I recovered,” she said.
Nikita, from Bexhill, has set up a GoFundMe page to try to raise enough money to travel to Mexico in March next year for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) - an intense 28-day chemotherapy treatment which aims to stop the damage MS causes by wiping out and then regrowing the immune system, using stem cells from her bone marrow.
She has so far raised more than £4,000 of the £45,000 she needs for the private treatment in Clinica Ruiz. Last month, Hastings United Football Club had collection buckets at the ground for fans to dig deep for her cause.
Nikita said for the past 10 years she has been trying different medications and disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) - but her MS is starting to progress and she desperately needs HSCT.
“There are other treatments available, however where all other treatments aim to slow down the progression of the disease, HSCT aims to halt the progression completely and allow me to live a normal, healthy life,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page.
“I do not qualify for this treatment on the NHS as I must been seen failing a long list of other DMDs, as well as having MS for under 10 years. As I am coming up to my 10-year mark soon, this is not something that can be done. I also do not want to wait for my disease to progress and worsen to the point of permanent disability that cannot be reversed.”
She added: “I would not normally ask for help with these things, but due to the progression of my MS we are running out of time. Please don’t think we have come to this decision lightly as it is an aggressive treatment that comes with its own risks.”