Mysterious Donation Allows Man to Pay for Stem Cell Treatment
By Jane Hall, Newcastle Journal, May 8, 2007
A man will now be able to add precious years to his life with his family thanks to an anonymous donation of £10,000. Dying from degenerative brain disease, he can now afford to fly to China for adult stem cell treatment.
Scott wants to live long enough to see his two-year-old son George grow up. So he is hoping the Chinese adult stem cell treatment will help him in his battle against spinocerebellar ataxia.
Just weeks before the balance was due, Scott was still about £7,500 shy of making the advance payment. His wife Louise told The Journal last month that they needed to raise a total of £14,000.
The anonymous donation came through after a mysterious benefactor read Scott's story in The Journal.
There wasn't enough thanks left in Scott's mind when thinking of just how much the donation has helped him.
"We are all really touched that a total stranger would be so generous. It takes the pressure off and means we can relax a bit knowing for certain that I will be going to China," he said.
"All the donations we have received have been greatly appreciated, whether large or small. Every donation is important."
"Obviously, it is very generous of this person who doesn't know us, and it has made a big difference."
"We have been extremely touched by people's kindness and how interested they are in our lives. It is nice to know that people care."
"We are continuing to raise funds, however, as we have discovered my poor state of health means it will be unlikely I will get insurance cover, so we will need the extra in case anything untoward happens."
More than £18,000 have been raised now, this includes the mysterious £10,000 donation. Any surplus monies will be donated to support the Ataxia group in the UK. However, the left over money will first be invested in case further treatment for Scott's spinocerebellar ataxia is needed.
Scott is losing his ability to talk and eat. His coordination is fading as is his vision. He cannot walk without assistance.
His wife Louise thinks it will only be a short time before Scott, who began to first show symptoms when he was 24, will need to be fed via a tube in his stomach. Louise has given up her work as a primary school teacher to take care of Scott, and their son George, full time.
When Scott is asked how in he could travel thousands of miles to allow doctors who he has never met to treat him with adult stem cells, he replies, "this shows how desperate we are."
"This is a last ditch attempt. I love George and Louise so much that I want to prolong my life. I so, so desperately want to see George grow up".