Warrior: Craig Witkowski
AI: Multiple Sclerosis
HSCT: September 2019 in Puebla
Do you find it tough to maintain patience with yourself or doctors? How easily do you find a positive mental outlook? How tightly do you hold hope?
After being on a first-line drug to hold off initial onset of his MS symptoms, Craig found benefit for a few years until he stopped the medication due to unwelcome side effects, which then caused issues for a couple of years. After changing careers, he spent time without any sign of the disease and then suddenly Craig was blind-sided by an experience while driving that left him nearly paralyzed. Without much of an explanation other than progression of his MS, he started on another disease-modifying-treatment that didn’t touch his disease progression and caused too many side-effects.
Craig researched more about stem cell treatments because his doctors could only offer vague uncertainties and although he found Dr. Burt’s clinical trial at Northwestern, after spending a year fighting insurance to pursue HSCT, Craig learned his disease had progressed, leaving him ineligible for the study criteria. Not willing to give up hope, Craig traveled to Texas for a presentation about Clinica Ruiz and was sold on the possibility that HSCT offered him.
Tune in and learn more about Craig’s unique challenges, fundraising efforts, power of patience, tremendous support of family and friends, and will to find his way to HSCT at Clinica Ruiz in Puebla, Mexico.
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It has been great to connect with Warriors worldwide, so please reach out if you’re interested in sharing your story. We would love to learn how the podcast has helped your journey with autoimmune disease so if you could take a moment, leave us a comment on instagram or share feedback on our website. We hope you’ll tune in next week for another episode, highlighting another HSCT Warrior. Until then, be a snowflake and embrace your superpowers. Be kind. Be well.
Jen Stansbury Koenig and the producers disclaim medical influence and responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. If you think you have a medical problem, please contact a licensed physician immediately.