‘I want to know I tried,’ Oklahoman to undergo experimental procedure to stop debilitating disease

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EDMOND, Okla. - Pamela was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago, just one month after her youngest son, Stark, was born.

Pamela Gooch said, "I had a tremendous accident. It was a five-car pileup and I realized I didn't have any depth perception or peripheral vision."

She went to an optometrist, an appointment she said changed her life forever.

She said, "He looked at my eyes and he said, 'There's something wrong here. Your optic nerves are atrophied. You need to have an MRI as soon as possible.'"

Gooch learned she was living with the disease and the symptoms came on quickly.

She said, "I have problems making decisions, speaking, remembering things."

Two years later, Gooch says she has new hope.

She is headed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Sunday, where she'll undergo an experimental stem cell transplant.

Stem cells will be collected from her bone marrow, cleaned and then re-injected into her body.

Experts say she may be the first person in the world with Progressive-relapsing MS to undergo the procedure.

Pre-clinical tests in seven other patients showed brain inflammation went down and there was even improvement in the insulation around the nerves.

Gooch said she will be happy if it just stops the disease from getting worse.

"MS takes so much away from you that you want to do whatever you can in order to, whatever you can do to halt the progress and that's what this will do," she said.
"It will halt the progress."

Her family says they have set up a fundraising campaign to help offset some of the costs.

On the site, she says she just wants to know that she tried to fight the disease.

In five days, they have been able to raise 40 percent of their goal.

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