‘I’m overwhelmed by public support’ – transplant op mum
A mother of two who has appealed for funds to have a life-saving transplant has said her hopes of success are at an all-time high as public donations flood in.
Marina Jordan Killoran (45), from Newbridge, suffers with an incurable auto-immune disease called Systemic Scleroderma.
She is going to die if she doesn’t raise enough money for a stem cell transplant.
Marina said that she first knew something was wrong when she felt a tingling in her hands before extreme fatigue set in.
“I couldn’t understand why I was getting more and more tired,” she said. “I began to rest more, thinking that I was getting a head cold,” she said.
By the time her disease was diagnosed, her lungs were at 40pc capacity and she had developed a chronic cough.
After six months of chemotherapy, which made her nauseous and tired, her lung capacity rose to 70pc.
Although this treatment brought the illness under control, it wasn’t a cure.
Marina, with the help of her friends, posted a heartbreaking video online earlier this week.
Since then, the level of support has been “overwhelming”.
“I never anticipated anything like this response [to the fundraising campaign]. I’m flabbergasted, I’m totally shocked. The public reception and the support has just been overwhelming,” Marina said. “We really feel like we’re going to get there.”
Her husband Alan and their two daughters had almost lost all hope, thinking that they would lose her – until they discovered the treatment being pursued by Dr Richard Burt of The Northwest Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
In February, Marina travelled to the hospital to be assessed for the FDA-approved stem cell treatment – which essentially “reboots” the immune system.
She was given approval but as her condition deteriorates, she may not be well enough to go ahead with the transplant.
“Time is of the essence – the sooner, the better I get back there. If I leave it until next year it will be too late,” she said.
The cost of the transplant is $125,000 (€111,000) and they are just €25,000 off their target.