ABERDEEN, Ohio – A fundraiser to benefit a local woman will be held on Saturday, April 28.
Christa L. Blanco was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis when she was 30 years old and battling malignant melanoma. RRMS is a chronic disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.
On Saturday at the Aberdeen Community Building, a pancake breakfast, lunch and spaghetti dinner will be served to benefit Blanco’s efforts to offset symptoms of her MS. There will also be a yard sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a baked goods sale from 5-7 p.m. An all-day silent auction will also benefit Christa’s Cure.
Prior to the diagnosis, Christa thought she was on top of the world and life was great. She was a wife, mom, student, full time worker and very active in church. She had several hobbies including motorcycling, boating, camping and scuba diving.
Fifteen years after her diagnosis of MS, her daily activities and ability to work full time has been impaired. The diagnosis of MS came 15 years ago and it hasn’t been an easy journey.
Blanco has always been a strong woman and now she finds herself having to depend on family and friends to do common things. She has spent months in a wheelchair, in physical therapy and retraining her brain on how to walk again.
Blanco has spent countless hours and thousands on alternative treatments and therapies in an attempt to slow the progression of her MS, but the disease has continued to progress. The only treatment shown in clinical trials to be effective in halting the progression of RRMS is hematopoietic stem cell transplant. In addition to halting MS progression, most patients experience a reversal of symptoms and healing of the brain and spinal cord lesions caused by MS.
Neurologists rate MS severity using a scale called the Expanded Disability Status Scale, with 0 being no discernible disability to 10 being death from MS. Blanco’s status is a 5.
In February, Blanco visited Clinica Ruiz in Puebla, Mexico, which specializes in HSCT treatments for MS with a zero percent mortality rate. Blanco qualifies for this transplant and must travel to Mexico in June 2018 in order to receive the treatment. She is seeking donations to offset the cost of the HSCT and follow-up care, which is approximately $60,000.
Another event, a benefit concert, is scheduled for May 12 at the Light of the World Community Church in Maysville. Blanco’s journey through MS can be followed at Christa’s MS and HSCT journey and a GoFundMe has been set up in her name under Christa’s Cure.