A Christmas fair is the latest fundraiser to help change a Hartlepool dad’s life through pioneering treatment for an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.
Dad-of-five Eric Thomson was given the devastating diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS – a form of MS that has no treatment in this country.
He was given hope that he could undergo treatment at the Riaz clinic in Mexico in 2018, but that has now been brought forward to next year.
A Christmas fair will be held on Saturday from 11am to 3pm at the old Boys Rugby Club in Hartlepool.
Santa willl attend the event which will feature a tombola, raffle and face painting. Entry is £1 for adults which includes a free raffle ticket for Christmas cake and free entry for children.
In August his family set up a Go Fund Me page in an effort to raise over £30,000 to send Eric abroad to undergo pioneering stem cell treatment.
So far the page set up by family friend Angela Crowe has raised £6,642 through organised events and generous donations in an effort to raise the funds by 2018 – the original date for the surgery.
The family need to raise as much funds as possible in a short space of time now they have been told by the Riaz clinic in Mexico that Eric could undergo treatment next year if they are able to raise the necessary funds in time.
“A lot of people have to cancel their surgery as they haven’t got that kind of money. But I am pleased with how things are going, it’s been brilliant.”
The former Camerons Brewery worker of Jowitt Road, was just 44 when he was diagnosed in July 2011 and now aged 49 he has seen his whole life change as symptoms progress.
The treatment will last four to six weeks and see Eric undergo tests to ensure he is fit enough for the procedure before receiving the stem cell transplant and chemotherapy lasting two weeks. He will then need a two-week recovery period before flying home to the UK.
The family are hoping the transplant will slow or stop the progression of his condition through the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) which involves the infusion of stem cells collected from bone marrow, blood, or umbilical cord blood, to re-establish haematopoietic function in patients whose bone marrow or immune system is damaged or defective.
For information on charity events visit: HSCT fundraising for Eric Thompson on Facebook. To donate, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/HSCTforEricT