Joy as Bexhill family receives boost to help get Neil walking again

Neil Jenkins with his children Maggie, Dylan, Esme and Ewan. Photo courtesy of Geraldine Jenkins
Neil Jenkins with his children Maggie, Dylan, Esme and Ewan. Photo courtesy of Geraldine Jenkins
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The family of a man with multiple sclerosis (MS) are overjoyed as he has been offered a place for treatment in his bid to get walking again.

Since last summer, Geraldine Jenkins and her children have been fundraising hard for her husband Neil so he can receive the life-changing care in Israel.

Doctors have now told Geraldine Neil has primary approval to get Haematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (HSCT) at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The facility offers HSCT for non-walking patients like Neil, which may stop or even reverse the MS symptoms. The treatment is not available in the UK for wheelchair-bound MS patients.

Neil’s family has been raising money to pay for the £90,000 treatment at the facility for months, collecting more than £18,000 so far, thanks to the generosity of family, friends and strangers.

In February, one anonymous donor slipped £1,000 in cash through the family’s letterbox with no clue as to who the mystery donation was from.

Geraldine, of Amherst Road, Bexhill, said: “The Shaare Zedek Medical Center has given Neil primary approval, which means so long as he doesn’t significantly deteriorate, he has a place for treatment. But now only lack of funds stand in the way.

“Since receiving this news our friends have really upped the fundraising which is great because, as Neil’s full-time carer and mum-of-four it’s too difficult to try to fundraise as well.

“We are so grateful to have some fantastic friends.

“St Richard’s Catholic College has also helped by holding a charity event for the Get Neil Walking campaign and Bexhill United Football Club u12s are helping out too.

“Esme and Ewan are taking part in a sponsored walk for their dad at Goodwood race course and all money they raise will go to help get their dad to Israel.”

Neil, 44, used to work as a BT engineer but had to retire four years ago as the MS symptoms made him unable to work, having started on Christmas Eve, 2010.

If Neil deteriorates too far before the £90,000 is raised, the money will go towards making him comfortable at home.

For more information on Neil’s situation or to donate to the family’s cause, visit www.gofundme.com/getneilwalking.

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