CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield man is in the fight of his life as multiple sclerosis attacks his body and brain. Michael Scott says current treatments don't seem to help his symptoms and family and friends believe Scott's best chance at a better life, is a new stem-cell treatment not available in Virginia.
Scott, 39, was a thriving pharmaceutical rep in Fairfax. He was married, owned a home and had the world at his fingertips. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 27-years-old.
"It's been tough on everybody," Scott said. "I got a lot of friends, and no one wants to see me like this."
Scott's symptoms started as walking discomfort and urination problems.
Scott went to the doctor who sent him immediately to a neurologist.
At 27-years-old, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
"When he first said it, I was like I don't even know what that means," Scott said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged."
According to the Mayo Clinic, multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms include, numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement, prolonged double vision, tingling or pain in parts of your body, tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait, slurred speech, fatigue, dizziness and problems with bowel and bladder function.
Scott's disease progressively got worse. He is now a paraplegic, confined to his wheelchair. He has issues with his eyesight and cognitive function as well.
"I've tried all the drugs that [are] currently out there now, but nothing has worked," Scott said.
There's no cure for multiple sclerosis, however, treatments can help manage symptoms.
Since none of the current treatments have helped Scott's symptoms, Scott's friends are raising money so he can try a new stem-cell treatment facilitated by Stemgenex Medical group in California.
It's not covered by insurance.
"They've been doing it the last 10 years, helping people regain what they lost," Scott said. "So once I have enough money to do it, I'm going to go out there and do it."
In the meantime, Scott gets by, thanks to meditation, yoga, MS support groups, his parents and the biggest joy in his life, his 10-year-old son.
The treatment Scott is hoping to get is $17,000. Scott's friends have raised almost $7,000 in four months.
If you want to donate to help Michael Scott, you can do so by clicking the above link or here. Since this story first aired on Jan. 10, more than $2,000 has been raised!
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