Councillor's daughter to seek disputed MS treatment in U.S.
A former MP and current city councillor in Victoria says neither policy nor politics is going to stop her from going abroad and paying for a controversial treatment for her daughter's multiple sclerosis.
一位現任加拿大維多利亞城市委員 表示 即使政策和規定都無法阻止他的女兒到美國就醫(靜脈擴張術)
Lynn Hunter, whose career includes terms as a New Democrat MP and also chairwoman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, is attempting to raise money to send 34-year-old Megan to the United States for the so-called liberation treatment.
Her decision highlights the emotional debate facing those with MS, whose hopes have been raised by tales of dramatic results from a treatment that experts worldwide have greeted with skepticism.
Hunter says she understands the need for further analysis. But with her daughter now using a wheelchair because of MS, Hunter said she also feels justified in stepping outside the system and seeking, even paying for, treatment abroad.
"Of course, people will see there will be some role confusion. That's for them to deal with. I'm already dealing with it," she said this week.
"Megan doesn't feel she has the time to wait for the medical system to give it the green light. I understand that and I respect that. If you are in a wheelchair, to be able to climb even a stair or two, well that's something."
The federal and provincial governments have been under pressure to support access to the experimental procedure in Canada -- it was started by an Italian doctor and is being conducted in a handful of countries -- but its safety and effectiveness are the subject of debate.
The liberation procedure was first advocated in 2008 by Italian vascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni, who suggested blood vessels in the necks of multiple sclerosis patients were failing to drain properly, leading to harmful iron deposits in the brain. Zamboni's technique uses angioplasty, the insertion of tiny balloons, to open those blood vessels and liberate the movement of blood.
The procedure is now being performed in Italy, Poland, India and the U.S. Some MS patients have reported amazing results -- more freedom of movement, and an end to the debilitating pain, fatigue and the tingling sensations that typically accompany their incurable disease.
Provincial governments in Canada have agreed to form a working group that will look at making preparations for clinical trials of the angioplasty procedure.
Todd Abercrombie, executive director for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Southern Vancouver Island Chapter, said $2.4 million in studies of the liberation treatment were fast-tracked at four research centres across Canada. Result updates are expected within months.
Experts have suggested that any benefits are the result of a placebo effect, rather than the treatment itself. They've cautioned people against paying thousands of dollars for travel and a treatment that may not work.
Previously, the disease was in the domain of neurologists because it progresses as the fatty sheaths surrounding nerves deteriorate, leaving them less capable of transmitting impulses controlling things such as muscle movement.
Hunter said that as someone who had worked closely with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, she understands the go-slow approach.
Nonetheless, she is organizing an auction of items donated by friends to raise money toward the $10,000 to $15,000 that Megan needs to go to Seattle or Albany, N.Y., for liberation treatment. Megan is on waiting lists at two institutions.
我只能說 政策是一回事, 親自遇到了 又是一回事... 現在連加拿大MS協會的委員都願意跑出加拿大尋求恢復的方法...
Lynn Hunter 的女兒是個多發性硬化症 病人, 他再也無法忍受自己34歲的女兒只能坐著輪椅, 連一兩階樓梯都無法爬的生活.