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Eden mum puts faith in new wonder drug
AN EDEN mum with a chronic illness is pinning her hopes for a normal family life on a 'world first' drug.
Sarah Stables, 28, of Appleby, is one of the first in the north of England to be prescribed fingolimod to treat the symptoms of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has stipulated that patients like Mrs Stables, who do not respond to more traditional treatments, must have access to the new pill on the NHS.
It is hoped that the drug will help reverse the current trend highlighted by a 2010 report which showed that the UK is ranked 13th out of 14 countries when it comes to access to new treatments for MS.
Mrs Stables' own diagnosis came just before Christmas in 2007 after the onset of symptoms during a holiday to Faliraki, on the Greek island of Rhodes, in June.
The mum-of-two of Glebe Road said: “I was falling down like a sack of spanners, even when I was stone cold sober in the middle of the day.
“When I am feeling poorly, walking is not really an option. I have fatigue and some pain.”
The type of MS she has – relapsing-remitting — means she has spells of feeling ill followed by months of remission.
She was given drugs by injection around her pregnancies with Lucy, now three and 18-month-old Steven, but after becoming very ill during a relapse last Christmas realised they were having little effect.
She said: “Tests showed I had new antibodies that were working against the drug. I couldn't carry Steven out to the car and I still can't do things like hang my washing out to dry.
“I started on fingolimod on June 25; a month in I can't tell if I will be 100 per cent better but the proof will be in the pudding.”
Worldwide, 38,000 patients are already on fingolimod, and the oral treatment has been found to cut relapses by more than half compared to a standard injection.
Mrs Stables said: “Hopefully it will make a massive difference for my family; it is my family that gets me by.”