With so much to celebrate as many Moscow veteran HSCT patients approach their 1-year, post-transplant birthdays, a select group of my SOFA (Sisterhood of the Fedorenko Alliance) sisters, who are far enough into their recovery to safely travel, took the opportunity to meet in Dallas to savor our successes together and, for several of us, meet face-to-face for the first time. These are women who have been there for each other 24/7 for over a year, before, during and after their stem cell transplants. One of the sisters, Kristy Cruise, from Australia, comes to the U.S. once every two years to visit her in-laws. 2014 was one of those years and we didn’t want to miss out on a chance to gather. What we thought was going to be a relaxing few days, turned out to be a mini media tour with tons of sister laughs, good wine, good food and a few tears sprinkled in. One of the sisters, Vicki Wilson, who flew in from Little Rock, Arkansas, contacted several television stations in the Dallas metro area to share our story of triumph and the unique bond that we all share. ABC and CBS heeded the call and came to interview all of us at the NYLO Hotel where we were staying. The ABC segment featured all of the sisters together, whereas, CBS decided to take the local angle and featured our very own police officer, Sheli Godbold, who lives in a Dallas suburb. We kept the hotel staff hopping and the hotel guests guessing as the local media and their camera crews set up their encampments throughout the hotel. I was even stopped in the lobby by a group of business associates who had seen us on television and wanted to know all about HSCT. Score!! Media tour success!!! Both interviews can be viewed below.
During our ABC interview.
In addition to being picked up at the airport by my gracious sister, Lisa Stallings, who gave me an awesome tour of the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, then Garage, with her BFF Cindy Cathey, I had the privilege of meeting the woman who made it all possible for me to find out about HSCT and, in particular, HSCT in Moscow, through her fantabulous blog, Amy Goes Ninja on MS. It was an incredible moment with lots of chills (at least for me) ha ha, and that comfortable feeling that I had known her forever. The entire trip was a dream come true for me, and, quite frankly, there is no way in hell that I could have made this trip alone just a little over a year ago, without a trekking pole, no less (see pics).
I took lots of wonderful pics throughout the week, so, I’ve chosen my favorites and have posted them below (they are clickable). Until my next post, cheers to HSCT!!
Thank you, Brooke. You’re amazing!
Am I a step-sister or a soul-sister? I know I am a sister-in-crime! What a wonderful experience for me to share your optimism and energy (and BBQ nachos!)
Best “sister in crime” EVER! I’m so happy that we had a chance to meet and share such fun adventures! Oops, I better alter my post to include your married name!!
Hello, I’m a MS patient and I would love to hear more about HSCT. I watched the group interview on my local ABC news channel and I saw hope for myself and others. Please let me know how you started the process to begin your journey, gaining a portion of your life MS may have caused you to wonder at times whether it was in control, or if you were in control.
Hi, Angela! I’m so glad you had the opportunity to see us on ABC. I highly recommend that you begin by clicking on the “About Me” tab at the top of this page to see how my MS story began and how I ended up choosing HSCT. Then, if you continue on reading through my blog posts, you will see how I fundraised to have it done, what it was like while I was in the hospital (admitted end of April 2013), and where things have gone since then. In addition, I highly recommend that you join the following two Facebook groups. The first one is the general FB group that specializes in the science behind HSCT and ALL of the HSCT facilities around the world and the second group, of which I’m one of the admins, specializes in treatment in Moscow, Russia, only. If you have any questions after that, feel free to contact me. Good luck with your research, Angela!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/149103351840242/ – General HSCT Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/404629779644453/ – Russia HSCT Group