Despite spending the last 9 years living with multiple sclerosis, this Alaskan mother is no longer experiencing any symptoms of the debilitating disease thanks to an experimental new treatment.
Amanda Loy was first diagnosed with MS when she was just 27 years old. Even though she was placed on a plethora of medications and spent endless hours in the hospital undergoing different treatments, she quickly started to suffer from bladder problems and loss of motor function, which made it especially difficult for her to raise her young son.
For two years, she saw little improvement in her condition – but then she heard about how researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago were conducting an international study on an experimental new stem cell therapy for MS.
The treatment works by using chemotherapy to weaken a patient’s immune system. The researchers then inject the patient with a collection of their own stem cells which then rebuild the immune system from the ground up so that it can properly fight the disease.
Loy qualified to be one of the 55 patients who received the treatment after her condition continued to deteriorate in 2012. Days after being released from the hospital, she says she noticed immediate improvement.
“It was little things. Like I didn’t have to sit down to get dressed,” Loy told KTVA. “In that first year, I feel like I had all these big improvements of my symptoms, so that one by one, I stopped taking all the medications I was on before.”
Seven years later, Loy no longer experiences any symptoms of the disease. She even scored a zero on the MS Disability Status Scale, which physicians use to rank the severity of the disease’s symptoms.
Additionally, the researchers have spent the last five years following up with the other study participants, and all of the patients who received the stem cell therapy are faring significantly better than those who received drug treatments.
Loy, who is now training to complete her first marathon in Anchorage, and she says she hopes that the treatment will soon offer the same kind of life-changing transformation to other MS patients, too.
(WATCH the video below) – Photo by Amanda Loy
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