A hopeful man is trying to raise money for stem cell therapy after receiving a frightening diagnosis three years ago.

Dany Sharif, 33, who lives in Fewcott, Bicester, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2019, when he was 29.

The chronic and progressive disease has brought about several pernicious symptoms for Dany, including painful muscle spasms, bowel issues and pins and needles throughout his body.

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Trips and falls have become frequent for him too, meaning that he turns down social events out of fear and nervousness.

Additionally, his mental health has declined, and he endures wave of negative thoughts and anxiety that worsen his symptoms.

Mr Sharif – who stopped working at the Oxford Health Company last month because he became too fatigued - said: “before my diagnosis, I was a perfectly normal, fit and happy 29-year-old man.

“However, from the moment I was shown the lesions in my brain and spinal cord and given the devastating news, my life has become a constant, unpredictable battle with my symptoms.

“I initially sought medical help when I suddenly woke up to blurred vision and tingling throughout my abdomen, and discovered I could no longer walk without crippling fatigue.

“Since then, day by day, my symptoms have worsened.

“This disease has genuinely changed my perceptions of normality, since living an everyday life has become an unbearable chore.”

However, after many hours of research, Mr Sharif and his healthcare specialists concluded that because he is still young and healthy, stem cell replacement therapy would be a viable option.

The therapy is not available on the NHS, so Mr Sharif is having to raise the funds himself using his life savings and a GoFundMe page he set up - Fundraiser by Hamdany Sharif : Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (gofundme.com).

Although the damage to his brain and spinal cord cannot be reversed, stem cell therapy will stop the disease in its tracks.

The treatment will involve millions of mesenchymal stem cells being taken directly from Mr Sharif’s bone marrow.

Over several weeks in the hospital, the doctors will wipe out his current immune system using chemotherapy, and re-introduce a new immune system with stem cells.

Mr Sharif added: “Like you, I never thought I would be telling this story, but here I am.

“Unfortunately, I have to cope with the cards I’ve been dealt.

“With enough donations, I’ll be given a second chance at life.

“With your help, I’ll be given the opportunity to attend weddings and celebrations and other social events we sometimes take for granted.

“After the treatment, I can expect an increase in energy, strength and mobility.

“Although I may never completely rid myself of this disease, I have a chance at halting its progression completely.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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