Friday 23 March 2018

'I want my two children to know that I've done everything I can' - Brave Wendy in MS fight

Wendy Johnston and her two girls
Wendy Johnston and her two girls
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A fundraising campaign for a Dublin mum to access treatment for MS in Mexico has raised more than €30,000.

Wendy Johnston (41) was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in January 2015 and has opted for a treatment which may halt her symptoms.

David Saunders and Wendy Johnston
David Saunders and Wendy Johnston

The treatment is unavailable in Ireland and Ms Johnston has chosen to undergo treatment in Clinica Ruiz, in Puebla, near Mexico City next July.


The cost of the treatment is just over €60,000 and Wendy's partner David Saunders and her family and friends have been fundraising tirelessly to help her cover the cost.

Wendy told the Herald that she changed her lifestyle and diet when she was diagnosed, which has helped her immensely. She believes the diet has helped alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease.

The form of MS that Wendy suffers from can lead to blindness, cognitive decline and paralysis.

However the brave special needs assistant said she is not focusing on what may happen down the line.

She is hopeful that the treatment will help halt the progression of the degenerative disease.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation or HSCT involves harvesting stem cells from bone marrow and reintroducing them into a patient after chemotherapy treatment.

"It's not something I've entered into lightly and given the option of doing nothing. I want my two children to know that I've done everything I can," she added.

She is keen to see the treatment introduced in Ireland so that other people benefit from it without the huge expense and travel requirements.


Already the Wendy's Hope to Halt MS campaign has organised pub quizzes, a dress sale and supporters have run the mini-marathon to raise funds.

Other events will be running in the coming months and more details can be found on the Wendy's Hope to Halt MS Facebook page.

Donations can be made to the Bank of Ireland account set up for Wendy's fundraising efforts. The BIC number ifs BOFIIE2D and the IBAN is IE30BOFI90134394369959. A Go Fund me page can be accessed here


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