A local woman is asking the community to support in her journey to seek treatment for Multiple Sclerosis internationally.
Shelly Irmen is a mother of two young children, aged 7 and 10, who has been living with Relapsing, Remitting MS since 2003.
About five years ago Irmen began experiencing a tremor, now the neurological autoimmune disease has developed to the point that she has Secondary Progressive MS.
She explains the tremor and symptoms of MS have taken away her independence, and left her unable to care for her children.
"I haven't been able to feed myself for a year and a half, I have not been able to write for a year and a half," she says. "So my life went from pretty normal, and not really knowing what MS could really do to somebody, now I'm living with the reality of what MS can do to somebody."
Irmen is raising funds to travel to Tijuana, Mexico, for treatment not available in Canada, which costs $40,000 all expenses included.
She explains leaving the country for treatment is not a choice, it's her only option, as it is difficult to meet the eligibility requirements to participate in a trial in Canada.
"Currently in Canada there are trials, however they can only take people with that meet certain criteria. Primary, Progressive, and Secondary Progressive do not meet the criteria."
Irmen would like her community to support her journey, so one day she can take care of her children and take back her independence.
"Please support me. Your donations will go towards an amazing cause, the fact that travelling internationally is even an option is beautiful thing. There is hope for me."
Irmen adds words cannot describe how grateful she is for any support received.
A fundraiser is also planned at Mehtab East Indian Cuisine, details to come.