A Wigan man suffering with multiple sclerosis hopes to raise £50,000 to travel to Russia for a radical new treatment.
Peter Tudor, who has Secondary Progressive MS, needs the eye-watering sum to travel to Moscow, where he will undergo a complex and risky procedure.
The therapy, called an Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT), will essentially reboot Peter’s immune system.
His own healthy stem cells will be collected and then injected back into his body after high doses of chemotherapy.
The treatment is intended to repair and replace faulty parts of the immune system and slow down the spread of MS activity by promoting the growth of new, healthy bone marrow cells.
Early results have been encouraging and understanding how best to treat people with stem cells is improving.
The relatively new treatment is currently only available on the NHS as part of a very limited trial at a small number of centres across the country, leading Peter to look further afield to receive the treatment.
He hopes to travel to the AA Maximov Hematology and Cell Therapy Department of the National Pirogov Medical Surgical Center in Moscow, which specializes in the state-of-the-art treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Once there, Peter will be treated by Dr Denis Fedorenko, the physician who first made the bold claims that AHSCT can cure MS.
The 55-year-old from Norley Hall said: “I am having a very hard time trying to get help.
“What I did earlier this year, because I felt a lot of different changes going on in my body and head, I requested to be forwarded for stem cell treatment.
“So they got in touch with Sheffield (Royal Hallamshire Hospital), and they said I’m not suitable because I have now Secondary MS, which is even worse.
“I am 55 and they want younger patients to try it.
“If they had treated me years ago when I first went, I wouldn’t be in this situation now.”
The aggressive treatment, which poses many risks to those who undertake it, was featured last year on an episode of BBC Panorama.
Peter would also travel alone to Russia if he successfully raises enough money, as he cannot be in contact with anyone else for both his and their safety.
“I am quite aware of what it entails,” Peter said.
“You are in total isolation for a month during your chemotherapy.
“You can’t see anybody, you can’t go with anyone and they can’t visit you, as the possibility of infecting you is too high.”
Anyone who would like to help Peter get to Russia can do so by donating at gofundme.com/stem-cell-treatment-for-relapsing.
Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is a stage of MS which comes after relapsing remitting MS for many people. With this type of MS the patient's disability gets steadily worse and they are no longer likely to have relapses, when symptoms get worse but then get better.