Friends of a city man disabled by multiple sclerosis are in a race against time to raise cash that could fund a miracle treatment.
Dick Mullen’s pals and relatives have watched his life being “eaten away” by the crippling disease for the past 15 years.
But a recent Panorama documentary about a new stem cell treatment currently on trial has suddenly given fresh hope.
The one-off treatment, though aggressive, has shown MS can not only be halted, but its symptoms reversed. Sufferers who have been wheelchair-bound for years can walk – or even dance – again.
It uses high doses of chemotherapy to knock out existing faulty cells of the immune system, then ‘reboots’ it using stem cells taken from the patient’s own blood.
Dick does not qualify to take part on the trial because his diagnosis was 15 years ago, when he was in was in his early 30s.
Undaunted, his friends and family have vowed to raise the necessary £30,000 through crowdfunding to enable him to have the stem cell treatment privately.
They have less than 30 days to raise the cash via https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Dick
Friend Claire Frost said: “If Dick is successful with this funding campaign, it will change his life. I know he loves the idea of being able to work once more, of helping and feeling part of something again.
“Before the MS, he was never sick - no injury, no cold nor flu; he’d never had a sick day (not even to nurse a hang-over!). Since the Panorama programme aired, he has said it is all that’s occupied his thoughts.”
Currently Richard, who is pictured with his dog Wilma, can only walk with the help of aids suffers with tiredness, forgetfulness and confusion after any exertion.
Meanwhile Richard’s niece Sinead Mullen is busy organising sponsored events and even planning to climb Ben Nevis.
She said: “I am trying every avenue to reach everyone that knows my Uncle Dick. We would love him to have the opportunity to literally change his life.”