A man who has been battling Multiple sclerosis for a decade is facing a race against time to raise vital funds for life-changing surgery.
Paul George, 41, was diagnosed with relapse and remitting MS 10 years ago and has been seen his life deteriorate as the symptoms progressed.
He launched a campaign to raise around £40,000 for pioneering Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) abroad and has now reached a milestone after receiving a date for his treatment.
Now Paul, of Wilton Gardens, Boldon Colliery, has been told he can undergo the procedure on Monday, April 2, 2018, at a clinic in Puebla, Mexico - but he still needs to raise a further £10,000 to make his dream a reality.
He said: “I have managed to raise a lot of money but I am still short of £10,000 which will cover the surgery, flights and food for a month while I am over there.
“I decided to go to Mexico as it was the first place that offered me a date.”
He added: “Now I need to try and raise the rest of the money as soon as possible as they need it paid in full two months in advance.
“Lots of friends and family have got involved in the fundraising over the last year.”
Mr George is planning on holding more fundraisers but may have to take out a loan to cover the full amount.
The former construction worker said the surgery can’t come quick enough after finding out that his condition has progressed to secondary progressive MS.
Each day is a battle for Mr George, but the surgery offers the possibility of slowing, if not stopping, the progression of his MS.
He was aged just 30 when he noticed his sight had become blurred while he was driving to work and was rushed to hospital.
He was eventually told by doctors that he had MS.
Mr George said: “It has got worse and I am in a wheelchair now if I need to go out anywhere.
“It is slowly eating away at me, so the sooner I get treatment, the better.
“I know the treatment will be brutal as there is a high dosage of chemotherapy, but the potential benefits far outweigh the negatives.”
To donate visit: https://www.gofundme.com/hsct-fundraising
For more information on events search Paul George HSCT fundraiser on Facebook.