Gemma Kearns and a friend
A 32 year old Kildare teacher is on a mission to raise funds to important medical treatment not available in Ireland.
Gemma Kearns, from Ardclough, a special education teacher at St Raphael’s in Celbridge, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of nineteen.
She has been accepted to go to Puebla in Mexico for a treatment which is not available in this country. But it costs €75,000 for the month long session, starting on July 17 coming, and the health insurance she pays does not cover that, she told the Leader.
Gemma said there are no medications available in this country that can stop the progression of the disease and the health care system in Ireland will not financially support this treatment.
She believes that HSCT, a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy treatment, can halt the progression of MS and allow her to live a life free from MS.
A Strictly Come Dancing event is being held in City West Hotel on March 11, to raise funds for her. There is also a draw for a Renault Kadjar car.
A number of couples from Ardclough and St Raphael’s are involved in the dancing
Gemma was diagnosed with MS in 2003. “The nurse specialist sat across from me and told me that it is certain without treatment I face a bleak future in relation to my health. She has called it 'luck' that I am still functioning as I am,” said Gemma who has been teaching in St Raphael’s since 2008.
Living with her partner in Ardclough, she said she has given up on many opportunities, including starting a family, to minimize undue stress to herself and possible children. “This treatment is the one opportunity that I cannot let pass by.”
You can contact Gemma on 086 8110185 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.gofundme.com.