Friday, April 06, 2007

It's official.

It is totally official. When you Google, Mikey Riley. It brings up several sites/pages with me on it. Pretty exciting, LOL.

Today this article was published in the Georgetown TIMES.

Local MS Victim Heading to China for Stem Cell Treatment Saturday, 07 April 2007 Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone.By Rod King (Created: Friday, April 6, 2007 2:58 PM EDT)
Michael (Mikey) Riley, 20, needs a stem cell transplant to impede the progress of his Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Without it he faces a lifetime in a wheelchair.
Because he was turned down four times for a transplant at Northwestern University Memorial Hospital in Chicago by his insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), he's scheduled the procedure for May 17 in Shenyang, China, a two-hour plane flight north of the capital city of Beijing.
"I've been doing a lot of research on the subject since being diagnosed with MS in July of 2005," says Riley, "and learned that the Chinese offer the treatment. They're not encumbered by the red tape and lengthy testing period necessary in this country before a procedure is given government approval for general use."
The procedure involves undergoing four intravenous injections of 15 to 20 million stem cells into his blood every six days and then one bone marrow treatment. That will be followed up with acupuncture and massage treatments. He and his mother, Dianna, will be there nearly five weeks.
"The Chinese believe that the stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood will regenerate myelin (the protective coating around nerves) that has been destroyed by the MS. The treatment will speed up the transmission of electrical impulses from the brain to my body. I realize that this is not a cure for MS, but a treatment that will help me deal with the disease and slow down its spread."
To cover the cost of the treatments ($23,000), the air fare for him and his mother and their food ($1,500) while in the Chinese hospital, Riley has established a fundraising campaign that includes a benefit dinner and auction Thursday, April 19, 6 to 9 p.m. at Landmark Conference and Reception Centre, 6222 Ellison Rd, Fort Wayne. Cost for the event is $25 per person and a table for eight is $175. He's also hoping businesses will sponsor tables for $500.
The auction and silent auction will include a variety of items from a helicopter ride and tickets to a Civic Theatre performance to a scenic plane ride around Fort Wayne, a woman's watch and a baseball bat signed by members of the San Francisco Giants.
Riley has already received donations totaling slightly more than half of the necessary amount from friends and members of his parent's church, Grabill Missionary. He's also established a web site on the Internet ( and has received a number of donations from individuals who have visited the site. "I created it because I felt it would be nice to relate with others who are experiencing MS. It lists information on my background and my journey to this point. A man from Australia contacted me to ask about his son who was recently diagnosed with MS. It makes me feel good to reach out and help others. I want to learn all I can about stem cell research, because it will some day help cure a number of neurological diseases."
Riley says his first symptom was the loss of vision in his left eye for four weeks at age 15. At 18 he lost all sensations on the left side of his body for about a month. The 2005 Leo Jr./Sr. High School graduate learned he had MS just four weeks after finishing school and before heading to Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Travers City, Michigan, to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a ship's captain. He was able to complete a year there before health complications forced him to return home. In the fall of 2006 he enrolled at IPFW, but had to take a medical disability when the MS flared up again and put him in the hospital for four weeks. In addition to taking 12 hours of courses at IPFW, he was working full time at Vision Scapes on St. Joe Road. "My boss was kind enough to hold my job open for when I'm able to return to work," he says.
"My faith is strong and support from my parents, friends and acquaintances has been overwhelming. I'm positive that this treatment in China will make a great difference in the quality of my life in the future and may be the answer for others suffering from MS."
MS Benefit Dinner
Thursday, April 19, 6 - 9 p.m.
Landmark Conference
& Reception Center
6222 Ellison Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
Cost: $25 per person

Soon, I am going to be in the News Sentinel, which is a much more popular Newspaper in Fort Wayne. So, hopefully the word about the benefit dinner is really going to get out because of all of the publicity it is getting. I am confident anyways. I am definitely pretty stoked. I am going to start looking for air plane tickets. I sure wish I knew someone who could hook me up, and get my mom & I a killer discount on some tickets to China! That would be so awesome!

I think it is time for me to retire, NIGHT NIGHT!

No comments: