Festa Per La Salute!

My yellow rose above goes well with Festa Per La Salute  (Party for Health).  Jackie Roberts, proprietor of the Pink Door Restaurant in Seattle organized and put on a Multiple Sclerosis  fundraiser this evening.  Funds raised go to CCSVI research at the University of Buffalo.

Jackie was recently diagnosed with MS and my sister has lived with MS for  26 years, so it meant the world to me to be at this event.  Whereas for years, there was no hope for those diagnosed with MS, Dr. Paolo Zamboni of Ferrara, Italy has discovered some groundbreaking treatment for MS patients.  Basically, Dr. Zamboni’s wife had MS for 17 years and he discovered that many (over 80%)  MS patients have a blockage in a venous stenosis (so blood from the brain has difficulty flowing back to the heart) and this blockage leads to abnormal deposits of iron in the  brain causing neurological damage and damage to the myelin sheath of the nerves.  Dr. Zamboni treated his wife as well as many others via angioplasty and they were cured of MS!   The surgery is not yet being done in the USA, but our hope is that one day soon, it will.

Jackie and Fran:

The event was jam packed with very interesting people.  I met many people who had MS and I met one woman who had the procedure done and feels GREAT!  We sat at a table and talked to our “table mates”.  Voy and his wife Julie, originally from Serbia, sat next to us.  They were with their friend Jasmina who has had MS for 10 years and is very excited about this new procedure.  She is waiting for Seattle to start doing the scans that would reveal if she qualifies for the angioplasty or not.  There was also Elena whose 15 year old daughter has something akin to MS  (though not yet diagnosed) and she was there to educate herself on the procedure and research findings!  Also at our table were  Mary Gales, a Physical Therapist,  and Barbara, an Occupational Therapist, who both work with MS patients.

Jasmina and me

Rick with Mary and Barbara:

The event was incredible, really.  Steve and Jackie welcomed all the guests.  As Rick and I walked in, an announcer yelled out our names and everyone applauded as we made our way down the stairs into the restaurant.  We both felt so special!  Every room had some kind of entertainment going on: pianist, singers, a lady walking on stilts, fire throwers, trapeze artists, accordian player and tuba player, jazz musicians, barkers, modern dancers, the S&M man  (in faux leather because he is vegetarian)..

lady on stilts:

I wish this procedure had come to light about 10 years ago, for Jeanie’s sake. Perhaps the MS can be cured, but the paralysis and nerve damage is permanent.  For Jeanie, that means she will always remain trapped in her almost fully paralyzed body that has deteriorated rapidly.  Jeanie is too fragile, I fear, to ever endure such a surgery.  Perhaps 10 years ago, she may have benefited from such a procedure.  I had such mixed feelings tonight, celebrating the possibilities for those who have been diagnosed recently, whose bodies have not yet been ravaged by the disease.  I am filled with a new hope for them. On the other hand,  I also felt a deep sadness for my sister who is in the hospital, in fact, tonight, fighting yet another kidney infection gone septic.  And me, ready to leave for India tomorrow, unable to do a thing for my sister whom I love so much.

Rick and I are so pleased we went tonight.  Jackie and Steve did such an amazing job at this event.  I was pleased to be a part of it in honor of Jackie and Jeanie!


One Response to “Festa Per La Salute!”

  1. kay Says:

    A beautiful tribute to your sister and all who suffer with MS.
    I hope you can find your own healing and abundance of joy on your amazing trip to India. Hug the Dali Lama for me =)


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