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‘MS left me unable even to butter my toast. Now, I’m symptom-free’ – Telegraph

Wednesday, 21 December, 2022

‘MS left me unable even to butter my toast. Now, I’m symptom-free’ – Telegraph

In 2016, Colette Edwards went into hospital for two weeks for a course of intense chemotherapy. But Colette, a lecturer in Occupational Therapy, who lives in Flockton, West Yorkshire, didn’t have cancer. She volunteered to have chemo - knowing all the risks and side effects - in the hope that it would stop her multiple sclerosis (MS) getting worse, as part of the trial of a treatment known as AHSCT (autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant).

A relapse - or episode - is where MS symptoms suddenly appear or become significantly worse. After the treatment, Colette’s MS came to a complete halt. Six years on, she says she still has no active disease: “Before the stem cell transplant, I was experiencing two relapses a year, was finding it hard to walk, couldn’t drive and couldn’t even butter my toast,” she says. “But now I’m relapse-free and my quality of life has improved immeasurably. I no longer live with the anxiety of waiting for the next episode of MS to take my independence away.”

This month, doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launched a world-first trial into AHSCT - the £2.3m StarMS study - which they hope could soon lead to patients with aggressive MS being offered stem cell transplants as a first-line treatment, instead of only when other treatments have failed.

Read more at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/ms-left-unable-even-butter-toast-now-symptom-free/

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