MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South woman living in constant pain is hoping a breakthrough medical treatment can reverse her multiple sclerosis symptoms.
As a commercial truck driver, Brandy Askew, 33, is on the go, but she was forced to slow down after a 2016 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, or MS.
The disease causes chronic pain, eating away protective nerves in the immune system.
Askew's body recently went numb, sending her to the emergency room.
"That was my first relapse since I've been diagnosed, and it was really scary. I've never been admitted to the hospital before," she said.
Through research and by joining several multiple sclerosis Facebook groups, Askew found a potentially life-changing treatment called HSCT.
It's a procedure that could essentially reset her immune system using her own stem cells to halt the progression of the disease.
"I would say it's absolutely a medical breakthrough. My husband has primary progressive multiple sclerosis so when he was diagnosed, he was told there is no treatment," Melody McGaughey said.
McGaughey's husband just finished HSCT treatment.
"He has more energy. He can exercise now, and we have hope for the first time in many, many years," she said.
The couple traveled south for surgery.
"There are several facilities around the world. Mexico is probably the easiest to get into and the closest," McGaughey said.
"The procedure costs around $55,000 to get and so a lot of people's insurance doesn't cover it," Askew said.
McGaughey's family raised more than $60,000 in two months
"Brandy [Askew] is a fellow Memphian, and I would love to help her do the same because I know it is very stressful to go through the fundraiser process," McGaughey said.
I you want to help raise money to help Askew get the surgery, click here.
Askew said she's looking forward to getting back on the go.
"Just be able to live and not worry about the uncertainties of what this illness can do to me or will do to me later on down the line," she said.
Multiple sclerosis is the most widespread disabling neurological condition of young adults around the world. You can develop multiple sclerosis at any age.