$6,250 of $20,450
36 donations

This fundraiser ended on 03/31/11

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The family & friends of Dave Foster are uniting to raise money to help him purchase the RT300 SLSA for home physical therapy to fight MS.

Dave was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago. Since then he has fought MS daily be eating right and keeping in good shape through his dedication to physical exercise. Over the years, staying in good physical condition has become increasingly difficult due to accumulated MS disability. Through physical therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, he had the opportunity to experience the RT300 SLSA which has greatly improved his ability to stay in good shape and become physically stronger. Due to lack of insurance coverage for the RT300, he needs your help to enable him to purchase and continue to use the RT300 at home since his physical therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute has ended.

Dave was an athlete all his life and was used to “stingers,” that tingly numbness that spreads from the shoulder to the hand after a collision. But stingers go away. Dave’s numbness didn’t. Then one morning, he woke up and couldn’t see out of one eye. He assumed it was just a scratched cornea from his contacts and initially ignored the symptom. But it got worse. He went to the emergency room, had a cat scan and an MRI, and got the news: it might be MS. When he first learned he might have MS and could not see out of his one eye, his first thought was his eleven-month-old daughter. “I was worried I’d lose my vision. So I would just stare at her so I’d never forget what she looked like.” Next he thought what having MS meant. Dave said “I was decimated. I thought MS was a death sentence. I thought I’d be bed-ridden and then die.”

So how does Dave stay so positive and energetic? He credits much of his physical and mental strength to FES technology. “I had tried to stay active, but it was tough: you can’t ride a regular bike, you can’t jog, maintaining muscle mass is difficult, there was a lot of atrophy in my legs and arms, you could see the bones. When I read about FES, it really piqued my interest so I contacted the Kennedy Krieger Institute to see if I would be a candidate. After a several month wait, I was accepted into their physical therapy program. On the first day of physical therapy they put me on the RT300 system.” Dave felt the benefits right away. He used the RT300 twice a week for several weeks and tried each day to go 1 minute longer on his own power. Dave noticed so much improvement in his legs that he added FES arm cycling to his routine. Although the MS was initially confined to his right foot, it had progressed into both legs and arms. Dave’s initial ride of 5 minutes is now up to 32 minutes on each ride, several times a week. Since he began using the RT300, Dave can stand longer, walk faster with forearm crutches, muscle tone has improved, muscle spasms are reduced for hours after he rides and the pins and needles in his feet disappear for several days after a session on the RT300.

And what about Dave’s own dreams? “My hope is a cure for MS, but you can’t wait around for it. So in the meantime, I stay in the best condition I can so I’m a candidate for future treatments. I want to be prepared and ready. You can’t hide in the dark, sitting in the corner and waiting for that day. Every day is a gift. It’s up to you what you do with it: feel sorry for yourself or be the best you can be.” Through the improved currently available MS drugs, Dave's condition per his neurologist has been stable for the past 5 years. He is excited to see how much progress he can make if he can continue to use the RT300 at home.

Please help Dave to maintain the benefits of the RT300 at home now since his PT has ended. The cost of the RT300 SLSA is $20,450. We are raising money to offset/assist with this expense. Your help through participating in a fundraiser such as the football jersey raffle listed in the update section or a contribution is deeply appreciated.
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