Downpatrick man John Magee fundraises for Swiss stem cell therapy
Downpatrick man John Magee is in urgent need of stem cell treatment and is appealing for support as his condition progressively deteriorates.
John is significantly paralysed down his right side following an accident when he was five years old.
“He lost the use of his right arm but managed through physiotherapy over years to gain some function in his right leg, but his condition is now worsening progressively.
John said: “I am faced with the daily challenges that this condition brings. I have had to live with my disability since I was five and have not managed to do the things that most people take for granted.
“When I was at school I had to endure bullying and name-calling. This had a marked effect on me later in life as I experienced mental health issues.
“I have suffered this physical and mental impairment for many years and it has on occasions brought me to the brink of suicide.
“The accident was devastating to my mother and late father. A wall fell on me and I was paralysed on my right side. The effect was permanent and I have had to come to terms with it as best I can.
“As I grew up I had to find ways to keep myself together. I was determined to fight this condition, and there is now a glimmer of hope.
“I have fully researched what is involved in stem cell therapy having spoken to consultants here and abroad. Sadly the treatment is not available in the UK or Ireland on the NHS, but is available in a specialised clinic in Switzerland.
“When I was younger I tried hard to maintain my physical and mental health. I got involved in boxing fitness at a local club which helped me enormously.
“It helped build me up physically, and also improved my confidence and self-esteem being supported by a great bunch of people.
“I am very grateful to everyone along the way who has helped and supported me so far.
“I have a small team of great people who help me on collections in supermarkets and other venues such as garages and to date we have managed to collect around £7,500.
“This is a great achievement. So now I am pushing to raise my fundraising over the line so I can get the stem cell treatment and have a more normal life.
“I have managed to gather around 25% of the necessary funds so far.
“My target to cover this vital treatment is a total of £31,000. This includes the cost of the stem cell treatment at the clinic, and the travel and accommodation to Switzerland.
“I’ll continue with the collections and appeals etc, but as I said, I need to get the treatment sooner than later or my condition will deteriorate and I’ll be wheelchair bound eventually and much less mobile as the paralysis continues to extend.”
John added: “I have given myself a year to reach this target and the sooner I reach it the better.
“And the longer I wait the less effective the treatment may be, so I need to push on now to get the stem cell treatment I need before it is too late.
“Currently, I take 14 pain tablets a day and need to control the pain I suffer which is constant. Pain relief is an ongoing issue.
“I receive regular laser treatment and physiotherapy at Mushgrave Park Hospital, but the stem cell treatment will help to regenerate my body so I can maintain a reasonable quality of life.
“So please help me if you can by making a donation, or if you can run an event. I will be eternally grateful to you all.
“My options are very limited. I am appealing again for all your help to get me to a better place and through the stem cell therapy in a year’s time that I need urgently.
“Check out my GoFundMe Page on the link:
“Thank you! “