Yukon woman to travel to Mexico for procedure

A Yukon woman is traveling to Puebla Mexico in hopes of “getting her life back.”
Stephanie Anschutz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an immune disease in which the body attacks itself. Anschutz was diagnosed at 28 years old in 1994.
Anschutz previously worked as an X-ray technician for 11 years, but had to stop working due to her MS in 2012. She now walks with a cane around the house, but uses a scooter about 90 percent of the time. Anschutz uses special equipment on her car so she can drive and haul her scooter on the back.
She also constantly feels fatigued and doesn’t have any energy.
“I have difficulties with just about everything—dressing, taking a shower, everything. It kind of has slowly progressed,” Anschutz said. “It feels like I’m walking with concrete shoes on.”
Due to her physical disabilities with the disorder, she also feels mentally drained and upset because she can’t do the things she used to do.
The U.S. only offers medications that will slow down the progression of MS, but the country doesn’t offer anything that will stop it, and there is no cure, Anschutz said.
The procedure, hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), involves harvesting the patient’s own stem cells and re-introducing them after their immune system has been “wiped out” with chemotherapy, according to Anschutz’s GoFundMe page.
“The idea is to reboot the immune system to a new one that doesn’t attack itself,” the page reads.
The procedure is meant to halt the progression of the MS, and at times has even reversed the symptoms. Anschutz said it takes up to five years to completely recover from it.
HSCT isn’t approved in the U.S. yet, as it’s currently in stage three of a clinical trial at Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Richard Burt, the doctor performing the clinical trials, will be able to give his data to the Food and Drug Administration five years after this clinical trial, in hopes to get it approved in the U.S.
Multiple others countries offer HSCT though, including Russia, Germany and Mexico.
“No surprise Mexico is the cheapest,” the GoFundMe page also reads.
The procedure costs $58,500 for a 28-day-stay in a two bedroom apartment for the patient and their caregiver. Anschutz is trying to raise $70,000 to cover the cost of the treatment, travel and other expenses.
Anschutz is getting the procedure done June 19, 2017.
“This friend of mine, her friend also from Oklahoma—he went to have this procedure done and he had a worse type of MS than I had. He had primary progressive so he was going downhill really, really fast, and he had it done and it stopped his MS. I was really excited to hear about that,” Anschutz said. “I’m pretty excited about it because I think it might help me get my life back. I have a grandson, and I think I might actually be able to play with him.”
To raise money for Anschutz, a “Stepping Out For Stephanie” benefit will be hosted from 12 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday at Big Dick’s Roadhouse, 501 N. Mustang Rd.
The benefit will include live music from The Teeter Twins, Mike Soutiere, Reese Wilson, Alan Davis, Tony Gourley, John Brooks, Bad Influence, Uncle Zep, Steve Zachar, Ashley Shepherd, Anthony Davis, Steve Brack, Michael Summers, Scott Hunt and Trent Montgomery.
Reese Wilson, Anschutz’s brother-in-law, is a musician who graduated from Yukon. He was put in charge of bringing in the talent for the night.
There will also be food, a raffle and more entertainment at the benefit.
“I’m excited about it and I hope I raise enough money to get me to Mexico,” Anschutz said.
Two other fundraisers will be hosted for Anschutz, including one on her birthday, March 11, at Greens Country Club, 13100 Green Valley Dr. hosted by Signs of Summer. It will include a raffle for a TV and a cash bar. The cost is $40 per person, and Anschutz will get to collect $10 per person that attends then keep whatever the raffle brings. The other is a community garage sale on March 30, 31 and April 1 hosted by her best friend’s mom in Choctaw. All of the profits from the garage sale will be donated to Anschutz’s procedure.
To donate directly to Anschutz, visit her GoFundMe page or her HelpHOPELive page. The pages also tell more about Anschutz’s story.
Any money donated to HelpHOPELive will be wired directly to Mexico.
Anschutz’s husband and son, along with the rest of her family are supportive of her procedure and she said she’s hoping it works.
“I am hoping that my symptoms will get better after this is over,” Anschutz said.
Right now, Anschutz is just trying to raise money for the procedure that could give her back her life, and stay positive.

2 Comments

  1. Kathy wilson on February 22, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I would just like to say I’m gonna be praying for you. I love your positive kick in the butt attitude about this life robbing disease. I have a niece who battles this fight as well. Can’t wait to go to big dicks to help out. Wishing you all the best

    • Kathy wilson on February 24, 2017 at 11:43 am

      I’m very happy your spirit is to fight ms I’ve seen so many give up

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