Bonnie and Jason McKenzie have been married for nineteen years and are proud parents of three precious children. Bonnie used to enjoy a very active life that included a career in Information Technology, running, dancing, cooking, and entertaining friends at her home. When her husband or kids had various sports or school events, she enjoyed attending and supporting them. However, all of that quickly changed when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Bonnie’s battle started when she began experiencing debilitating vertigo, severe balance issues, and numbness and tingling on the right side of her body. After several urgent doctors’ visits and MRI scans, she was diagnosed with MS, a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. “My family was devastated because my mother had MS as well and passed away from complications in 2012,” Bonnie said. “We are desperate to stop the progression of my MS before it’s too late.”
Bonnie continues to suffer from severe muscle weakness and numbness on the entire right side of her body. She must rely on a cane to walk because her severe vertigo affects her balance. Despite numerous attempts to slow the disease with various conventional and holistic MS therapies, Bonnie’s MS has entered a stage of rapid, relentless progression. “My family and I have been forced to watch MS slowly destroy the person I used to be before my diagnosis,” said Bonnie.
Fortunately, Bonnie has been recently accepted to receive a lifesaving treatment that has shown success in halting the progression of MS. Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) uses high doses of chemotherapy to wipe out the immune system, and then the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells are transplanted back in the body to help rebuild an immune system with no memory of MS. The treatment costs approximately $65,000, none of which is covered by insurance.
Bonnie is scheduled to receive the HSCT treatment in July, but she must travel abroad to undergo the procedure. To offset the cost of the treatment expenses and follow-up care, she hopes to raise $20,000 through RedBasket.org. “I want to be well for my family and continue to be involved in their lives,” Bonnie said. Stand up to MS with Bonnie by making a tax-deductible donation and sharing her story today!