Today is a very big day for us! As our friends and family know, Bryan had to stop his last MS treatment program in 2011 when he developed antibodies to a fatal brain disease – one of the trickier side effects of an otherwise really effective treatment called Tysabri. It was unfortunately Bryan’s last option because there is so little available for progressive forms of MS.
After waiting more than 3 years, a new drug called Lemtrada just got FDA approval. Today, Bryan became the 10th patient in the US to begin treatment. Lemtrada is a chemotherapy administered for 6 hours a day over 5 days. He repeats this next year and then he’s done. Because it significantly raises your risk of getting leukemia and other cancers, you’re required to do blood work every month for 5 years. I guess that makes it sound terrible, but cancer can potentially be cured and MS cannot, so it’s all about weighing risks.
Getting hooked up at 7:30 AM.
The good news is that Lemtrada has shown to be quite effective in halting the progression of the disease and in some cases allowing for a little healing! That is huge because it means people who are newly diagnosed will likely never go through what Bryan has been through. That takes my breath away. It’s huge for us and others who have been through so much because it offers hope – and it gets us a step closer to other medical breakthroughs in fighting MS.
*** Learn more about Bryan’s experience with MS here.