|China Trip Could Save My Life|
|Miercuri, 05 Decembrie 2007 07:00|
There are no translations available.
Source: Manchester Evening News
By Amanda Crook and Ray King
A FORMER Mayor of Manchester is to travel to China for experimental stem cell treatment on a life-threatening rare brain condition.
Coun Audrey Jones noticed symptoms of the disease when she was the city's first Liberal Democrat Lord Mayor in 2003.
It had affected her vision and co-ordination, but it took until November last year for it to be diagnosed.
A specialist at Manchester Royal Infirmary realised she was suffering from cerebella atrophy, a degenerative disease similar to motor neurone disease; for which there is no treatment. She said she was shocked and depressed when she was first told: "The doctor said I would need stem cell treatment but it would not be ready in this country in my lifetime."
Then her daughter's mother in law told her about a man in Scotland who had travelled to China to be treated.
Coun Jones is understood to be paying thousands of pounds to travel to Qingdao, eastern China, for a 30-day course of injections of stem cells taken from babies' umbilical cord blood. The grandmother-of-four, from Withington, said there is no guarantee of success, but her condition is a death sentence with no respite.
"This is my last chance. I have to do something to try to stop the deterioration for my sake and my family who look after me," she said.
"While I was Lord Mayor my attendants knew I had difficulty because I couldn't walk up or down steps unless they held my arm, but it was not obvious to anyone else. Now I can only walk with great difficulty, holding on to someone. Without treatment I will lose all voluntary movement."
Coun Jones will go to China with her husband, Ray, as her carer, early next year. She is understood to be paying for the treatment through researchand treatment company Beike Biotech.
Coun Jones is to resign from the council seat in Withington she has held for 30 years.
She trained in pharmaceutical research, then after raising her four children she helped found the South Manchester Reporter, now our sister paper.