Battling Multiple Sclerosis
Fourth generation Freemason at St George of Dunolly Bro. Donald Calder has been battling multiple sclerosis (MS) for the past 15 years. Now 36 years old, Don is set to head to Russia in April to undergo a costly procedure which aims to halt the progression of his condition. Supportive friends have started a special fundraiser page to assist him in his journey. This can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/don-versus-multiple-sclerosis
The procedure, called Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) is unavailable in Australia, and with travel included will cost Bro Calder around $100,000. While this procedure has a risk, Don is not nervous, but excited, as a successful outcome will provide him with the chance to support and enjoy his four-year-old daughter, Kenzie, growing up.
Don works in Disability Employment Support, motivating and helping others with disabilities to find meaningful employment and empowering them to live life to the fullest despite any challenges that they are living with. Disability is something Don lives with every day, so that with his great people skills he can inspire clients to get their lives back on track.
After successfully battling Multiple sclerosis for 13 years just two years ago his condition worsened to secondary-progressive MS and Don, supported by his family, made the decision to seek the only medical treatment which boasts strong results in stopping the progression of this brutal disease.
Don’s parents will provide care and support during the 30-day treatment in Russia and recovery upon his return. “We are very hopeful that this will help with a lot of Don’s pain and symptoms”. Symptoms including vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination making simply things like walking a major task.
The revolutionary treatment involves a combination of steroids, white blood cell extraction, cultivation and transplant, as well as eight hours of dialysis and four days of chemotherapy before replacement of blood cells. This drastic treatment has an 80 to 90 per cent success rate of completely stopping the progression of MS.
“While improved treatments are coming online in Australia and while some medical facilities successfully treat Multiple Sclerosis, they only slow the progress and do not cure the disease.
The MS friends group compare results from treatments around the world with Moscow currently providing the best overall treatment while showing high success rates.
During the 40thanniversary celebrations of the movie a Mad Max Movie fundraiser was held at Paramount Theatre Maryborough. to support this young father’s much-needed treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and increase awareness of the treatment which is not available in Australia. Other fundraising functions are being planned.
Donations to Don’s fight against MS can be made at the fundraising page: www.gofundme.com/don-versus- multiple-sclerosis.
To follow his journey, go to Facebook Page: Don VS MS.
PHOTOS: Above: Don Calder and his four-year-old daughter Kenzie set to celebrate the original Mad Max film, which raised funds for Don’s battle with multiple sclerosis. Below: Donald Calder is congratulated after being initiated by his father WBro. Ken Calder PJGD.