Fraserburgh man’s MS treatment hope

Scott McKenzie will undergo the HSCT treatment next month
Scott McKenzie will undergo the HSCT treatment next month

A Fraserburgh man has been accepted to undergo groundbreaking treatment that could stop his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) from progressing.

Scott McKenzie was formally diagnosed with MS in October 2011 aged just 39.

MS is a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system and causes severe disability as the body’s immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord.

As the disease progresses, the nerves are destroyed partially or completely, causing a person to lose functions throughout their body.

Scott said: “I used to work as an offshore installation manager so I would go out to the rigs.

“Before I was due to go on a trip back in May 2011 I felt a tingling sensation in my fingers and I also had a dull pain in my thigh, but I thought nothing of it so headed out and over the following two weeks I didn’t take much notice of it because I was so busy.”

During the trip however Scott’s symptoms worsened and he was admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he started the MS diagnosis process.

A second relapse later on affected his eyesight.

Scott continued: “I was in a high pressure job and then this came along, it was like someone threw a grenade into my life.

“It was a very bitter pill to swallow and very distressing for me and my family.”

However the future could hold some relief for Scott as he is set to travel to Mexico for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (HSCT) on March 5.

The treatment is similar to a bone marrow transplant and includes chemotherapy to reset Scott’s immune system.

His previously harvested stem cells will be transplanted back into his body and following the procedure it is hoped that his immune system will rebuild itself free from MS.

Scott’s wife Donna found out about the treatment by speaking to people who also have MS on various Facebook groups.

Scott decided to sign up for the treatment as he feels it is his only chance of stopping his MS from progressing, preventing further disability and maintaining a quality of life for himself and his family.

He carried out lots of research on the procedure before hand to ensure that he was making the right decision as he explained: “I read articles online and watched some documentaries.

“One showed the story of a man who started cycling again after his treatment and another was a BBC Alba documentary about a Scottish woman who recently travelled to Mexico for the same procedure.”

Scott also discussed the treatment with fellow MS sufferers and staff at the Grampian MS Therapy Centre in Aberdeen.

He added: “Everyone at the centre has been fantastic and a huge help.”

An online fundraising page has been set up to help Scott fund the procedure, flights and additional medical costs during and after treatment, estimated to cost a total of £50,000.

To support Scott’s treatment visit www.gofundme.com/hsct-to-stop-ms-progression.