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    The Need

    Mike Johnston is a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, avid Chicago sports fan, and self proclaimed computer geek. The pillar of his family, Mike has spent the last decade as a stay at home Dad. He juggles housework and homework to cooking and carpooling with the greatest of ease. Thankfully, for the past 12 years he and his family have managed to adapt to life with MS. Although Mike struggled with symptoms often, he never complained about the muscle spasms, cognitive issues, and fatigue his family now knows he was dealing with.

    Unfortunately, on Valentine's Day 2019 they learned just how devastating MS can be. Mike was experiencing blurred vision in his right eye. Next, came extreme fatigue and difficulty walking. By the third day his cognitive function, coordination, balance, strength, and mobility were all greatly effected. Over the next couple of weeks Mike's condition continued to decline. On the morning of St. Patrick's Day, he woke with total paralysis of the right side of his body and difficulty with speech and communication. He was hospitalized for over 3 weeks. He developed aspiration pneumonia, AFib that required intervention with electric shock, a Pulmonary Embolism, followed by clots in both legs. He spent another 2 weeks in a Rehabilitation Hospital where he worked tirelessly to regaining enough strength to return home on April 12, 2019. Unfortunately, his time home was short lived as his condition continued to decline once again. He began suffering from painful paroxysmal tonic spasms (similar to seizures) on the right side of his body several times a day. He was seen at Northwestern Memorial Hospital by the Chief of the Division of Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Diseases (DIAD).

    After much deliberation it was decided that Mike's last hope for remission and recovery is a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT). The staff of the DIAD are monitoring Mike closely while treating him monthly with a strict drug regimen to hold him is his current state of health until he can receive the HSCT procedure in October of 2019. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover the cost of this procedure... We want to help! Please consider a shirt purchase or donation to Mike's online fundraiser.