MS fundraiser set for Saturday

Residents of Fort St. John living with multiple sclerosis are getting a funding boost to help send them for an experimental treatment.

 

A local group is holding a fundraiser this weekend to financially support two residents so they can receive the “Liberation Treatment.”

The “Liberation Treatment” made headlines across Canada when it was profiled in a ‘W5’ episode last fall. It was developed by an Italian doctor but is not currently available in Canada.

Tickets are currently being sold for a dinner and dance taking place at the Legion, on Saturday. The event will also include both a live and silent auction, and a live band.

Janine Welsh is the fundraiser and treasurer of the MS Liberation Support group in the City.

She says the two residents who are set to receive the treatment are Brent Harris and Holley Osterlund, who are both under 50 years old and live in an assisted living home in the City.

Harris is leaving for Mexico, one of the countries offering the procedure, on Friday.

Welsh says the overall goal is to raise $80,000 from all of the group’s fundraising efforts. The money will go towards helping both Harris and Osterlund as well as other residents who may wish to have the procedure.

Tickets are being sold for $35 a person and can be purchased at the Legion, World Gym, Fort Motors, or by calling Janine at 250-789-3325. It will begin at 6 p.m.

MS is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks myelin sheaths in the brain causing of debilitation over time.

Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of MS in the world.

Welsh says there are approximately 275 people living with the disease in the Fort St. John area.

Rocky Tompkins, another Fort St. John resident, is an MS sufferer who has already undergone the procedure. He was able to raise money to travel to Mexico in July.

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