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Chemotherapy treatment for multiple sclerosis to be trialled by Geelong dad





Reece Griffiths has lived with multiple sclerosis for 10 years and will be the first Geelong MS patient to have new chemotherapy treatment. Picture: Peter Ristevski

REECE Griffiths is prepared to pioneer multiple sclerosis treatment in Geelong for the sake of gaining more spontaneity in life with his kids.

On Monday he will become the city’s first patient to start a form of chemotherapy for the illness which has hemmed his life for the past decade.

The alemtuzumab treatment, suitable for relapse remitting MS, has been available in Australia for less than a year.

“The whole idea of it is to reboot the immune system,” Mr Griffiths said.

“Shut things down in other words, you’ve got to feel worse before you feel better. I’m willing to take that chance.”


He is encouraged by testimonies from elsewhere in Australia, and the US.

“People have noticed dramatic changes ... basically functioning better,” he said.

“At the moment I’m at a really low situation. I find it hard to walk 50m without feeling tired.

“I would just like to have a better quality of life with the kids where we can go and do whatever.”

Mr Griffiths, 37, is husband of Mel and dad of Kara, 15, and Rian, 11.

Also a type one diabetic for 23 years he relies increasingly on a walking stick to steady his way.

“Even the ability for me to get up and walk down a path without touching a wall, that’s a benefit,” he said.

The family became a target of community goodwill in 2011 when about 35 volunteers and 50 local businesses combined to complete an $80,000 renovation of their Newcomb home.

Mr Griffiths said he would have five consecutive days of intravenous chemotherapy treatment, taking up a total of about seven hours a day.

He said one of his first questions to his neurologist about the new treatment was something of a clincher.

“I said ‘what’s the deal, am I going to lose the hair?’” he said.

“He said no. I said ‘let’s go for it’.”

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by GEELONGADVERTISER
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length 

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