On January 8, 2015, Terri and her husband Jeff received a confirmation diagnosis from Henry Ford Hospital that Terri has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You can learn more about ALS by clicking here.
Since that time, Terri has traveled to the Mayo Clinic, #1 medical institution in the US, to receive a second confirmation and has began the journey to face her diagnosis. Right away, during that trip in early February of 2015, Terri made it known to her doctors that she is anxious to participate in any clinical trials shown to improve patients with ALS. The medical staff said it’s difficult to get into a trial and many people wait a very long period of time.
Being strong in her faith, Terri forged ahead with the belief she would be selected. Well her prayers have been answered. On March 27, 2015, Terri received a call that she is going to be one of 48 participants in the US study of Brainstorm’s NurOwn stem cell trial. The results of the study showed that the treatment was safe and effective for ALS patients. The study continues on with a third trial. Terri did receive the ‘special’ NurOwn cells and was not a placebo patient. Her progress continues to be slower than average ALS patients. This treatment is still not approved by the FDA in the United States. Pray our Nation can institute faster approvals for patients with terminal illnesses.
There were many travel costs associated with this study. Your donations helped make it happen in 2015. The 690 mile journey, lodging, and food x 10 trips = $$ were all on their own dime. Terri has also modified her diet and is taking a regiment of healthy supplements to support prolonging the strength of her muscles.
Terri has retired as a real estate agent, but Jeff continues to work as a programmer for La-Z-Boy in Monroe. This company has been an outstanding supporter of the Saenz family. In the summer of 2015, the Saenz family sold their two-story home and found a suitable one story floor home with zero stairs/steps and a first floor master bed and bath. The expenses to prepare a home for wheelchair accessibility are high. With your help, they were able to remodel the home and master bath to make it ADA compliant.
Thanks to all of you, Terri was fitted into a power wheelchair in the summer of 2018. To transport the hot pink and green chair, the Saenz Family had to purchase a mini van with mobility ramp built in. This expensive purchase could not have been done without some creative financing AND all of your support over the last 3 1/2 years! Lastly, Terri was fitted with eye gaze technology to help her communicate online! Jeff and Terri are doing all they can to maintain a higher quality of life! They enjoy traveling now in their new wheels, and exploring new places when able.
Please donate today to help Terri with her ongoing living, healthcare and medical expenses. More fundraising events are in the works, but for now, this is the easiest and quickest way to help out. The cost of living with this disease is very expensive, and majority of families will declare bankruptcy due to ALS.
Terri and Jeff have been married since 1991 and currently reside in Canton. They have two adult sons, Brandyn and Joshua. In addition to raising their boys and staying active with their activities as they grew, Terri and Jeff also are the proud parents of a cockerpoo named Nelly and a curious cat named Odie.
God is good always, so are miracles and cures. Now, let’s go kick some ALS, Terri style! Thank you!