As Hartlepool dad Eric Thomson gets set for his life- changing surgery abroad, fundraisers back in the UK are working hard to raise the remainder of the cash which paid for his vital MS treatment.
Eric, 50, from Jowitt Road, will travel to the Riaz Clinic, in Mexico, of his pioneering stem cell treatment operation on June 19 but fundraisers fell short of the total £38,000 cost of surgery and needed to take out a loan.
Fundraisers managed to raise the majority of the funds – more than £21,700– but will continue to fundraise to make up the total.
Fundraiser and family friend, Angela Crowe, said: “The money had to be paid by April 20, so we had to get a loan for the rest.
“We said we will carry on with the fundraising while Eric is away, so we have three more things planned between now and the end of May.
“We have a fundraising night at 7pm tonight at the Ye Old Durhams Social Club, in Hartlepool, featuring band The Rockaholics.
“We also have a nostalgia night on Friday, May 6 at 7pm featuring forties, fifties and sixties music, from band The Seatones at The Avenue, in Hartlepool.”
Eric’s wife Joanne will also take on the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis, in Scotland, during the next May Bank Holiday with her work colleagues to raise the vital cash.
When Eric was given the devastating diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS four years ago, he was told there was no treatment in this country and was forced to watch his whole life change as symptoms progressed.
But after hearing of the possibility of pioneering stem cell treatment abroad, friends and family rallied round to raise the funds for his Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantations (HSCT).
If successful, the treatment offers the possibility of slowing – if not stopping – the progression of his MS, and improve mobility.
To donate to Eric’s cause please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/HSCTforEricT.