Horsham woman’s fight to ‘get a full life back’ from MS

Ali Elliott, Alisha Elliott and Philippa Charman at the cake sale
Ali Elliott, Alisha Elliott and Philippa Charman at the cake sale

A Horsham woman is fundraising for a pioneering treatment to help prvent further progression in her multiple sclerosis (MS).

Philippa Charman has a target of £40,000 to pay for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, to help her ‘regain control’ of her life, which she would receive in a pioneering Russian hospital.

She said: “I am asking for your help to raise funds.

“MS has left me in a position where I can afford to live, but not find this kind of money.

“Please help me get a full life back, instead of this half life I have become accustomed to.

“Please give what you can and help me to spread the word.”

Philippa has suffered from MS since 1999.

A progressive disease, she gave up a full time ‘demanding’ career in summer 2008 to tackle her MS head on.

Philippa added: “Exercise and diet have been my life for the last ten years as I’ve had tried to manage my MS.

“I continued to work for myself until my MS fatigue stopped me from doing so.”

Despite difficulty walking, fatigue and eyesight problems among other symptoms, Philippa has worked hard to maintain her independence.

She said: “I currently volunteer two mornings a week, which has kept my brain active and helped self esteem.

“My lifestyle changes have kept me mobile although I frequently struggle walking and can no longer hide my disability.”

So far Philippa has raised half the funds she needs towards her goal.

Her current fundraising has totalled more than a staggering £20,000.

Philippa added: “I am desperate to pay for medical treatment so that I can regain control of my life.”

Philippa has been holding a number of events to help raise funds towards her campaign.

Alison and Alicia Elliott, two of Philippas friends are well known locally for their baking creations, including cup-cakes elaborately decorated with painted mermaid tails, dinosaurs and glittering cookie-monsters.

When they learned that Philippa was fundraising they spent four days baking solidly, and the sale, which took place in the foyer of the Pavilions in the Park, raised in excess of £500 towards Philippa’s target.

MS is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord.

In MS, the coating that protects your nerves (myelin) is damaged, and this causes a range of symptoms.

Although the cause is not yet known and there is no cure, treatments such as a hematopoietic stem cell transplant can help reduce progression and even reverse some symptoms.

The treatment aims to ‘reset’ the immune system to stop it attacking the central nervous system.

It uses chemotherapy to remove the harmful immune cells and then rebuilds the immune system using a type of stem cell found in your bone marrow, called haematopoietic stem cells.

To donate to Philippa’s campaing visit www.gofundme.com/sgqwh-daring-to-dream