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Nenagh woman's appeal for help

Thursday, 27th June, 2019 2:48pm
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Nenagh woman's appeal for help
Nenagh woman's appeal for help

Nenagh woman Bríd Cusack is appealing for public donations to help her get to Panama and a potentially life-changing treatment.


Bríd (39), daughter of the late former councillor Paddy Joe Cusack, was diagnosed at a young age with Still's Disease, an auto-immune condition that mainly targets the joints. All her life she has had arthritis in most of her major joints and some of the minor ones. Bríd has had to endure chronic pain and fatigue.


“I have tried almost every treatment and cure that I have come in contact with,” she said on her Go Fund Me web page.


She was managing quite well until she became pregnant with her youngest child, Atéa. The pregnancy led to a situation where Bríd's mobility was severely reduced.
“I can no longer walk or get around unaided,” she said. “Because of the arthritis in my hands, I cannot use even a self-propelling wheelchair.”


The HSE recently provided a mobility scooter, which has allowed some sense of independence. But she still needs round-the-clock care.


“I am now dependent on my wonderful partner, Egidijus, for all of my care,” Bríd said. “I need help getting dressed, and getting to and from the shower. He prepares my meals and fetches and carries for me as I cannot carry much, if anything.”


Recently, Bríd came across a stem cell therapy provided by a clinic in Panama, where doctors have been achieving “phenomenal results”. She explained that this therapy is very different to those available in Europe and much of the rest of the world.


“Basically, it is the first time in my life where I have come across an actual treatment that very well may cure my disease,” Bríd said.
“And one of the most important factors for me? No major side effects! And I mean none.”


The Nenagh mother said her prognosis from doctors in Ireland includes the offer of a double hip replacement as a high-risk surgery patient. She could still be wheelchair-bound for life.


But going to the Panama centre could give her a far better quality of life and may even completely heal her. “I cannot put into words what this would mean to me,” she said. “To get to walk unaided again, dare I hope, to dance? Run? To swim in the ocean? Walk on a beach? Hillwalking? 


“I have difficulty even thinking about it, but, to be able to get around the house, make a cup of tea for myself, prepare food for my family, wash myself without help, go for walks with my children, play on the floor with little Atéa, have her be free to climb on my lap and not have to learn so young to be careful of hurting mammy...


“It breaks my heart to miss out on so much with her and to be so completely unable to help out and do all those things for my family that I did for so many years.”


Having been in consultation with the clinic in Panama, Bríd is now at the point of being able to make an appointment. This is also at the point where she needs funds to help. The overall cost of the treatment works out at €30,000, including flights and accommodation in Panama.


“As someone who has had a disability for my whole life, I have no means to raise this kind of money myself. I am asking that if you can, please help me to get to Panama. Please, help me experience life with functioning joints, and no constant pain.”


You can support Bríd by visiting the Go Fund Me website and searching for - 'Brid Cusack's life changing medical treatment fund'.

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