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This fundraiser ended on 07/31/12

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The family and friends of Alex Gardner are uniting to raise funds for relocation so he can receive the care he needs.

My husband, Alex has been battling M.S. and Neurosarcoidosis since 2007. He has seen multiple doctors at many locations, ultimately ending up at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fl. The physicians at Mayo were running tests after tests, and even with their wonderful expertise, were still uncertain on exactly how to give the treatment to Alex that would benefit him the best. The treatment for M.S. was interferring with the Neurosarcoidosis and the Neurosarcoidosis treatment was making the M.S. flair uncontrollably. The physicians were coming to the conclusion that the best thing for Alex was to just keep him comfortable with pain medicine and the flair up's under control with long-term prednisone therapy.
Neurosarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system causing inflammation in the brain due to the growth of granulomas, or miniature tumors. These very small tumors multiple rapidly, which places pressure on the brain stem and soft tissue. This pressure makes it difficult to have proper brain function and has caused some irreversible damage that has affected Alex's short-term memory. The sheath that covers the spine is also being attacked by Alex's immune system, which is making him very vulnerable to additional nerve responses. This causes the nerve endings throughout his body to fire uncontollably causing intense pain.
There are several different forms of Sarcoidosis. Alex's started in his lungs and then progressed to his nervous system, which from what is known of Neurosarcoidosis is the worst form of the disease.
The M.S. diagnosis came two years later and has taken quite the toll on Alex's muscles. The breakdown of the muscle fibers are keeping him from having the control that he once had. We are concerned that the heart may become affected, since it is one of the strongest muscles in the body.
The five specialists that were treating Alex at Mayo Clinic told us on our last visit that there is a Dr. S. Pawate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville that had studied extensively the effects of Neurosarcoidosis and M.S. on the body. Dr. Pawate has written mulitple publications and headed many studies on these two diseases, both indepently and together. Currently Dr. Pawate has over 100 patients under his care with Neurosarcoidosis, a few of those patients having a combination of M.S. and Neurosarcoidosis, which carries a rarity of 1 in 1000.
We have just returned from visiting Dr. Pawate at Vanderbilt. Dr. Pawate states that the treatment he has found that works and can give a quality of life back to Neurosarc patients is a mixture of Remicade and CellCept and an infusion every 6 weeks. THese two medications have the tendancy to carry many adverse side effects, however when the risk is weighed, the benefit is well worth risk.
Alex needs this medication. This medication cannot reverse the brain and bodily damge that already exists, but it can stop any more from happening.
The severe Osteoporosis cannot be reversed, but getting him away from the Prednisone that has deteriorated his bones and placing him on a semi-controversial medication that actually promotes new bone growth could give him the strength that he needs to support his weight again.
Alex is 37 years old, a most wonderful father and husband and is now fighting to regain his independance. He is in a wheelchair full-time now and is to the point that he cant grip the wheels to propel himself any longer. This doctor at Vanderbilt can help Alex. The only problem is we live 7 hours south of Nashville in Dothan, Al. Alex cannot handle that drive, as the vibration of the road in the car is actually too much for him. Also, after each infusion every 6 weeks, he will have to be under close supervision for up to 72 hours to watch his vitals to ensure there are no severe reactions to the medications. We are asking for the kindness of others to help us relocate Alex to Nashville or the close vicinity so he can under-go this life changing treatment and our daughter can have her daddy back. I am having to ask for donations as I was asked to leave my job since I was having to take off to accompany Alex to his appointments. The company I was working for would not let me honor the FMLA and they would not honor any doctor's excuses that I brough back from the Dr. Being in the Nashville area would allow me to at least work part time so that I could accompany Alex to his appointments and not have to take off days at the time to travel. Also, the cost of hotel stays is overwhelming. It is actually cheaper to rent an affordable apartment on a monthly basis than it is to stay in a hotel for a week, even with the Vanderbilt patient rate. I ask that you please help. I have utilized all of our savings, as well as my mother-in-laws trying to help my husband. I am forever grateful to anyone of you that finds the compassion in your hearts to extend your monetary gift. From the entire Gardner family, we thank you in advance.

If you would like to speak to a family member about Alex, please call: 334-587-5606
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