A COVENTRY man who is seeking treatment in India for his ‘devastating’ disease has launched an urgent fundraising appeal.
Zhahid Habib, aged 42, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2008 – a life-long condition which affects the brain and spinal cord, causing disability.
His doctors believe he could be severely disabled in less than two years and too weak to undertake the procedure he needs.
Mr Habib is seeking life-changing but expensive treatment which could prevent the disease from worsening.
The dangerous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) procedure involves eradicating the old immune system with chemotherapy and using the patient’s own stem cells to rebuild it.
He is aiming to raise enough money by January to travel to India to start receiving treatment.
He and his wife, who live in Hillfields with their four children, have launched a fundraising campaign hoping they can amass the £30,000 they need for the procedure.
The couple have already raised £6,500 on their YouCaring page they began in April.
Mr Habib, a former housing project manager, said: “I’ve been going through hell and I’ve put my family through so much.
“It’s like feeling dizzy, sick and tired constantly but you know you aren’t going to get better.
“What feels like the only hope is the treatment – which is not an option taken lightly as it is a very aggressive cancer treatment which is showing excellent results in stopping MS.
“After this treatment I want to be able to live my life and play with my children, they won’t be children for long.
“I’m done living like this. I have to do this for me, my family and my friends.”
The criteria for the treatment is tight in the UK and depends on the progression of the illness.
It can cost nearly £100,000 and the waiting list is between one and two years.
His wife Sam Begum said: “He had everything going for him: a very good job, we have been married for a few years and he had a young family. Life was good.
“But then we got the diagnosis.
“He now has vision issues and is unable to walk without support .
“As this disease continues to progress he has constant falls, painful spasms which will only worsen and he will end up in a wheelchair. He is losing this battle.
“The treatment is now our one narrow window of hope for stopping the MS.”
To donate visit: www.youcaring.com/zhahidhabib-1154076
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