Adele Hollingsworth’s life was always busy: a husband, three young children, nursing school but an even brighter future was in sight for the family.
Until the fall of 1999.
It was then, in her final semester of the nursing program at North Island College, that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Life went on almost normally for a few years until the progression of her MS started to steal her life away bit by bit. She has tried the injectable drugs and even did some chemotherapy to hopefully slow the progression of the “monster,” to no avail. Hollingsworth’s course of MS has robbed her of so many things in life one cannot begin to list them all: family walks, employment, at times even her dignity, to name but a few. Limited mobility, bladder/bowel incontinence, and fatigue compiled to make even her basic activities of daily living an incredible challenge. The simplest tasks such as putting her socks and shoes on can be a huge deal some days. MS tries to “beat her down” everyday, yet she hangs on and tries to stay positive.
In November 2009, Hollingsworth found new hope while watching a news program. In it she heard Dr. Zamboni’s message of hope and promise for a better quality of life through angioplasty to unblock or widen the veins in the neck and/or chest. Hollingsworth has been glued to the Internet and TV for any new information on this treatment for almost a year now.
The Canadian government refuses to allow this treatment for people with MS even though it is a procedure that is done many times every day on patients with other types of health concerns. Hollingsworth’s family and friends believe this new treatment for MS may help alleviate some or all of her daily struggles-improve her quality of life and give her back some joy and happiness. To date more than 3,000 people from Canada have travelled out of country to have this procedure done with many reporting positive results, be they big or small. Ask any person living with MS if they would like a reduction in their symptoms, even if it wasn’t a huge difference – their answer would be yes.
Hollingsworth is off to San Diego on Feb. 5. She is saddened that she cannot have the treatment done in Canada but feels she cannot wait any longer.
“My MS just keeps progressing; I have to do something now, before this disease goes any further,” she said. “MS touches every aspect of my life, if nothing changes in my health post-procedure then so be it, but at least I will know that I have tried.”
Hollingsworth isn’t alone in her battle with MS, family and friends have also been greatly impacted by her illness. They have all suffered losses as well.
“I am truly grateful for my husband, children, extended family and friends, they have stood by me for the past 11 years, now I want the chance to feel better and hopefully I will be able to give back to them,” she said.
A burger and beer night has been organized for Hollingsworth at the Willows Pub Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The public is invited join in the fundraisers and/or make a donation.