By Rachael Grealish
A community has come together raising almost half of the £55,000 needed for a one-of-a-kind MS treatment for a young Cumbrian mum.
Brogan Johnston, from Workington, was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) in April, this year and has since been searching for a treatment to the life-long disease.
In relapsing MS, people have distinct attacks of symptoms which then fade away either partially or completely. Symptoms they’ve had before might come back, or they might get new symptoms.
After much research Brogan and her husband found one treatment called Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT).
This treatment is the only one of its kind out there and the only one that’s aim is to halt the disease in its tracks – but it comes at a hefty price tag of £55,000.
So on Wednesday, May 5, the pair set up a GoFundMe page and in just 24 hours they’ve had almost 1000 donations and raised over £25,000.
Reacting to the surge of support, the 26-year-old told The Herdwick News: “Honestly, the support has been so overwhelming, I really didn’t expect it.
“It just shows how even when you’re from a small community everyone is prepared to help each other- it’s really touching.”
If the money is raised by June 30, 2020, the mum-of-one will undergo a 28-day intense HSCT treatment on August 30, this year.
This is an intense chemotherapy treatment (four chemotherapy infusions) aimed to stop the damage that MS causes by completely wiping out and regrowing my immune system using stem cells from Brogan’s bone marrow.
As Brogan doesn’t qualify for the treatment on the NHS she will be looking to undertake it in Clinica Ruiz, Mexico.
On the fundraising page Brogan said the treatment is all so she can see her five-year-old Adalyn grow up and be with her as long as she can.
She wrote: “All I want is to live a healthy life and be able to watch our little girl grow up without worrying that my next relapse will rob me of my vision so that I’ll never be able to see my little girl again.
“Or that this horrific disease will rob me of my ability to walk and play with my daughter like every mother should be entitled to do.”
Businesses such as Xtreme Fitness have got involved by offering gym memberships and events for cheaper, if a donation of that price is made to the page.
The business is also planning a ‘spinnathon’ on May 17 when indoor gym sessions are able to go ahead when COVID restrictions lift further.
To donate to Brogan’s GoFundMe click here.