News

MS sufferer pins hopes on Russian stem cell treatment

Barry and Sue Potts are fundraising to pay for her $50,000 treatment for MS.
Barry and Sue Potts are fundraising to pay for her $50,000 treatment for MS. Cathryn McLauchlan

A LISMORE woman with multiple sclerosis has found hope in a Russian stem cell treatment costing $50,000 and up to a year in recovery time.

Sue Potts was diagnosed with the disorder, which attacks the central nervous system, eight years ago.

It has greatly restricted her ability to walk and leaves her exhausted by lunch time.

"I just want to stop the progression, I don't want it to get worse," she said. "At the moment I'm fine with myself, it's just my legs, I struggle to get around."

When Mrs Potts was diagnosed in 2008 it was "bitter relief" for her and husband Barry; they had spent the past two years asking what was wrong with her.

"There were the symptoms - the pins and needles in the fingers, the numbness in the leg, double vision, but it would come and go and it wasn't all at once," Mr Potts said.

"When we got the diagnosis, it was like 'oh, crap, okay, well at least we know what it is ... what do we do from here?'

"We've learnt to cope with it, we accept it now.

"It would be great to stop it where it is but it would be even better to reverse it so Sue can come out and socialise more."

The couple first heard about the controversial stem cell treatment called HSCT in 2014, when it was featured on TV show 60 minutes.

It was reported at the time the treatment had a 1% mortality rate, down 8% from when it was first practised in Moscow a decade previously.

The treatment's developer, Dr Denis Fedorenko, will see Mrs Potts as his patient in mid February.

Mrs Potts will spend a week getting evaluated before Dr Fedorenko basically reboots her immune system using her own stem cells after high-dose chemotherapy.

"Then it's 10-14 days in isolation, so we see each other through a double-glazed window in that time," Mr Potts said.

If all goes well the couple will then return home, where Mrs Potts will need to let her immune system recover for at least six months.

Mrs Potts said she was nervous, a bit scared and excited all at the same time about the stem cell treatment.

She said her family and friends had been extremely supportive and she was hoping the community would get on-board to help her raise $20,000 for airfares, accommodation and a bit of the treatment.

The couple will hold raffles and fundraisers over the remainder of the year, but Mr Potts has also set up a GoFundMe page for people to make direct donations.

It can be accessed by searching "Stem Cell Therapy for Sue" on gofundme.com

HSCT is now available in the US, but Mr Potts said the queue for treatment was very long.

Topics:  gofundme, multiple sclerosis, russian stem cell therapy, stem cell treatment, sue potts


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Programmers' joke is on us

Dr Airdre Grant

Computers - it's a love/hate relationship.

How to manage sustainability

Deborah Benhayon - Open For Business.

What business has to do to maintain sustainable development.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Local Partners

PM boasts of our ruthless borders

Borders made easier by a land girt by sea.

Why we're the top spot for mobile tourists

Caravanners and campers spend an average $152 a night in our region.

Our region is the top spot for caravanners and campers in the state.

Programmers' joke is on us

Dr Airdre Grant

Computers - it's a love/hate relationship.

How to manage sustainability

Deborah Benhayon - Open For Business.

What business has to do to maintain sustainable development.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

All she wants is to be chosen

TAKE ME HOME: Daisy from pet shop to pound to your place.

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight

Mahershala Ali in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E2: Code of the Streets review

Simone Missick and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.