Gympie woman and MS sufferer Ronelle Palmer will head to Russia for a controversial stem cell treatment.
Gympie woman and MS sufferer Ronelle Palmer will head to Russia for a controversial stem cell treatment. Tom Daunt

Controversial Russian treatment for patient fast tracked

GYMPIE mother of four Ronelle Palmer will fly to Russia sooner than expected to receive a ground breaking but controversial treatment for her multiple sclerosis.

Originally scheduled for a Hematopoietic Stem Celltransplantation later this year, Ms Palmer will now head to Moscow on May 28.

Only available in trial form in Australia, the Hematopoietic Stem Celltransplantation procedure involves taking stem cells from the body and replacing them after a washing process.

Ms Palmer is required to undergo a form of chemotherapy as well and will be admitted to a Russian treatment centre for about three months.

The entire exercise costs $75,000.

"I am excited but I know there is going to be a year of horribleness afterwards," Ms Palmer said.

"For two or three months your are on top of the world because of all the steroids you have to take but then you start plateauing.

"You actually get worse for six months to a year and then your body starts to normalise.

"For the first three months I am back I will have to be in quarantine and not leave the house.

"I will have to be very careful with the children because I won't have an immune system.

"so there won't be any kissing my kids for three months," she said.

Ms Palmer was diagnosed with MS in 2004.

For the most part, she is house bound due to the incredible amount of chronic pain.

She said she was prompted to explore the Russian treatment after spending years on prescription medication without success.

She is not the first Australian to undergo overseas stem cell procedures for MS, and cites the incredible amount of red tape to the treatment being available here.

"It is just stupidity that it is not offered (in Australia)," Ms Palmer said.

"There are four other people from Australia going at the same time

"Even if we had to pay for it in Australia and even if it was $50,000 it would still be in your own country.

"Just the safety aspect and things like that would make it so much easier for families," She said.