Local woman hopes new treatment will help her M.S. condition

TAMARACK LOCATION — A relatively new treatment may offer hope for those living with multiple sclerosis. 59–year–old Laura Erkkila is one of those individuals.

Laura has been suffering from MS for over 20 years. She has been confined to a wheelchair for the last 12. But that may no longer be the case thanks to a treatment called hematopoietic stem cell

“What that means is,” Laura explained, “they will take my stem cells out of my body, I will receive chemotherapy to destroy my immune system, and then they transplant my stem cells back into my body. At that point, my body will not have any memory of MS,” Erkkila said.

Even if HSCT doesn’t return her body completely back to normal, Laura hopes that her M.S. would be stopped.

“To me, that would be huge because I’m only getting worse and there’s a nursing home in my future and I realize that and I don’t want to be in a nursing home. I want to live my life, so I’m going for it,” said Erkkila.

The treatment will cost about $58,000. A Go Fund Me account has been set up at Help Laura Erkkila Kick MS to cover that plus travel expenses. Any additional proceeds would go toward her 38–year–old daughter’s treatment, who has also been diagnosed with M.S.